Servers in Top-Tier Restaurants Earn More Than The Chefs Who Prepare the Food!!! It’s Time that We Wake Up to the Fact That Serving Can be an Honorable Profession…
It seems that all the press goes to the chefs and wine gurus and not enough to those who professionally deliver their delicacies and potables to the clients. All we see on the Food Channel are the stars preparing the dishes. But when you’re dining out, a great dish can be totally ruined by the person who serves it to you.
A few years ago I surveyed 625 meeting and event planners. 120 replied and 2 out of 3 would rather have outstanding service and average food than outstanding food and average service. When you think about where you eat yourself, you tend to go back to those restaurants where the service is great…..and of course the food is good, but perhaps not outstanding every time you go there.
A recent article I found online caught my eye, and precipitated my writing this article. The headline was “Waiting Tables at Top-Tier Restaurants Is New Career Path for Ivy League and Culinary School Grads”. These grads consider themselves professionals and to get a foot in the door at legendary dining establishments, many food-obsessed 20-somethings are busing tables.
The kitchen has been the customary entry point for the restaurant industry, with culinary and hospitality grads launching their careers in jobs as prep cooks or line cooks. But recently, ambitious grads are realizing they can earn more money working in the dining room. At the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N. Y. 20% of the grads go into front-of-the-house positions in the dining room, compared to 5% roughly 15 years ago.
It’s great that young people are recognizing that service can be an honorable and profitable profession. One of my staff members, Jason King who trains our service team, has created a great like for himself, serving and training others.
It’s time that the art of service is given the credit that is deserves. It may not be as media-friendly as baking a fabulous soufflé or decanting a bottle of 1982 Chateau Margaux, but it can be made that way. It only takes a few service professionals to step forward and make the art of service exciting and interesting.
Outstanding services entails things like grooming, posture, demeanor, appearance, language, as well as knowing who to serve first, from which side and with which hand. And little things make a difference as to where the salt and pepper shakers are placed. In case you didn’t know the salt should be to the right of the pepper. Why you ask, because it’s used more often and most people are right-handed. By the way, a good server who pays attention when he serves coffee or tea to a left-handed person, will place the cup and sauce or mug to the left of the guest. And the handle should be at eight o’clock rather than four o’clock for the righty.
When you’re deciding on which caterer to hire, make sure that as you taste the food, observe how it is being served. Great service will make the difference in your event just being good, or being great.
Blessings, Bill Hansen