Monday, November 2, 2009

One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do

I've lived here for nearly five years, yet there are still some aspects of Belgium that I will never get used to. Like the service in Belgian restaurants. (At this previous post, you can read about a particular favorite experience...)

For those of you who lament this as I do, you will enjoy (and perhaps become a little nostalgic from) a blog posting at the New York Times entitled "One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 1)".

It is written by restauranteur Bruce Buschel, and begins, "Herewith is a modest list of dos and don’ts for servers at the seafood restaurant I am building."

This list only includes rules #1-50 (51-100 will follow next week). I had particular appreciation for tips like:

4. If a table is not ready within a reasonable length of time, offer a free drink and/or amuse-bouche. The guests may be tired and hungry and thirsty, and they did everything right.

6. Do not lead the witness with, “Bottled water or just tap?” Both are fine. Remain neutral.

15. Never say “I don’t know” to any question without following with, “I’ll find out.”

In Belgium's defense, they do consider #17 as a golden rule: "Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait." So maybe there's a thing or two that the Americans could learn from Belgium, too.

Read the full posting here. Thank you, Bruce!

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