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The Great Debates The State of
Service in our
Restaurants



Reader Feedback:

I have to agree with Mr. Mauro, at least to a degree. I firmly believe that for many, the work ehtic is sorely in need of revival. But as someone who has spent several years in the Employee Relations field, I attribute much of the "employee pandering" to the burgeoning employment laws forced upon us by our government.

I have witnessed the entitlement syndrome all too often. It is usually brought about by an employer's inability to avoid litigation (win or lose), when an employee feels wronged for being required to do good work.

Rich C.


**Next Post

Service, in general, in this country has gone down hill. Not only in restaurants but in all service-oriented segments. I think people have forgotten, "The customer is always right!" And they forget who pays their salary.

Who is to blame? I don't know, but I am getting very tired of it.

Michelle Corey, Owner
Serendipity Cruises & Tours


**Next Post

In this economy, in the suburbs, the job pool consisits of local college students looking to earn that ever elusive "Extra Cash" and i believe it is about sales and up selling but not in an aggressive manner... you offer the chef's specials and the merlot or the better cabernet...we must generate revenue and the bodies we hire are encouraged to offer an appetizer, a special, a glass of wine with dinner, dessert, coffee drinks, espresso...

Frank X. Smith, Owner
The Baja Grill
Larchmont NY


**Next Post

The personal approach to give the client/customer an aura of appreciation for selecting their establishment has all but disappeared in today's fast service environment. This not only effects the service but the quality of food being offered. The effort to turn tables faster has created a mind set that someone else will fill that empty spot regardless of service or quality. On top of all this the cost continues to increase and servers generate the attitude that the customer will or should leave gratuities in excess of 15% no matter how bad the service or food quality. My wife and I no longer go to so called three and four star restaurants. The last being Ruth Chris's when we war told we were taking too long to dine and service and food were both bad. We can get the same thing at McDonalds for less money and do not expect any better.

Glenn C.


**Next Post

I read with interest the article "Brave New Order" by Jack Mauro. I am sending a copy to my three managers. Service is the area that our restaurants are always trying to improve, along with labor and food costs, service management takes alot of our working time. Today's guest is more intelligent and experienced. Dining out in restaurants is an common activity for everyone living in metropolitan areas which allows everyone a very broad basis for comparing service of many different restaurant experiences. Today's guest KNOWS exactly what is pleasing, acceptable, appreciated and expected for SERVICE and quality service is defined by their expectations. Experiences such as visiting Disney World where the streets are cleaned constantly and everything is planned around SERVICE, or dining at an expensive restaurant where the car door is opened and the chair is pulled out for the guest while the napkin is draped over their lap by the maitre'de help to define Service. These expereinces in visiting places that provide SERVICE (address:just about everywhere) are recorded (saved) in the brain (file) and are used to compare (view) other new experiences related to SERVICE where they decide (edit) just how well the service was given. They will then decide whether they will return (go back) or not return (delete). Of course there will be some input related to food quality and atmosphere in the decision making but the most important factor will be the SERVICE.

"Brave New Order" redirects the blame to the owners of restaurants for allowing the poor servers to continue to remain employed. Alas, most of the blame should be directed to poor management for retaining these servers but there is much more complex theory I would like to address and have the experts examine - Family Life in America - facing a new direction in the year 2000. Just who do you think is "training" the new generation for the workforce before they even answer the request to "bring a folder or a sheet of meaningless paper over to the bar?" It's the Family and believe me - it does not look good. Respect, one of the biggest character developments in human nature is in a very serious state with the children of today. I have a "feeling" that new parents today are satisfing too many unecessary wants and desires of their offspring because of their own "guilty" feelings of not being there in the home (work, play, divorce - living elsewhere etc.) Let's just look into the family and the "training from birth" of the next generation of servers. I would love to have a better pool of applicants to provide the quality service I know people have come to expect. Until then I must work to "change behavior" on O.K. servers who really do need the tip income to survive.

-Joe B.

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