Restaurant Owners are not taking the time to hire the right people for their establishment, and not spending the time to train those people accordingly.
Sure it is important that their has to be a turnover on tables in a restaurant so they will make a profit, but not for the sake of good service and good food, which the customer came for.
Service is an art form and with today's people which perform this service it is a sales form. The mentality is the more people I serve fast, the more tips I'll get. Well, wake up - more and more customers are looking for good service. When they are not receiving that service they will not give good tips and they will probably not come back to your establishment.
Good service and good customer service will make a Restaurant or a Hotel successful today. There are no other alternatives - try to be the best at what you do and provide what the customer is looking for.
Having been out of the Hotel/Restaurant business for 12 years (but with the intention of re-entering it in Canada soon) and with more than 19 years in the trade in England and South Africa I would like to contribute a few observations to this debate.
I recently visited Canada for a month and I must say I was very impressed with the pleasentness of nearly all the serving staff that we encountered even those in the fast food restaurants, compared to Europe and South Africa you don't know how good your staff are! at least they all had a smile and seemed to be pleased to see me! however two things did strike me as odd, firstly you very rarely saw the owner of these places, it seems that often the owners don't care about their businesses, if they did they would be there at least at the peak times! and secondly I was a bit surprised at the lack of cleanliness in some places, could it be that your staff are too highly educated and that cleaning the floor is below them? I would welcome anyones comments regarding this.
That was the best article I have ever read concerning restaurant service. You hit the nail right on the head! And you are right, restaurant owners and managers are to blame. We have accepted second rate employees because it is easier to "wait and see" if they get better than to cut them loose early on. And your remarks regarding the "salesman" waiter/waitress that many owners are molding were right on target. As a former waitress who now manages, I know you have to truly enjoy serving the public, hopefully work in an establishment that provides excellent food and the good tips will come. Thanks again a for saying some things that need to be heard by every restaurant owner around the country!
I too have seen the decline in the service industry you so eloquently describe in your article. I have been in and out of the service industry for the last 11 years, working as a bartender, cocktail server and server. It was a career that I loved and hated the most at the same time. Most of the "guests" that I have served over the years have been the high point, while the owners of the establishments and staff members have been the down fall.
I have worked in both corporate and "Mom and Pop" establishments and have worked with a multitude of extremely bad servers. From the ones who barely take enough pride in themselves to iron or tuck in their shirts, to those with so much attitude I'm surprised the customers tolerated it! I cannot believe the amount of "bitching" about how little these servers were making, when it was obvious why! And then to eat or smoke in front of customers, don't even get me started!
The service industry was one that I truly loved, but could never find a "team" where I didn't have to pull more weight to cover for those who didn't do their fare share. This saddens me. I find it more difficult to eat out when I don't get what I feel I deserve as a customer. Paying higher prices for food that is often times adequate and service that is less so. I would rather stay home (my husband is a chef, thank God!).
Just my two cents worth for now, but I won't give up hope. However, my days in the "biz" are pretty much over, except for the occasional catering gig. Thanks for listening.
I am a fine dining restaurant owner in Guelph - The Other Brother's.
Although I do not have nearly the years in the business that Mr. Mauro has, I hear his voice. I would encourage him to come and enjoy our servers as we try to instill in them the loyalty and hard working effort that he describes of his youth. My husband, a few years older than myself laments and praises the teachings of his former maitre d's. We also hire our employees in a similar fashion and very rarely will employ an individual based on the merits of the resume but in the merits of their seeming intelligence, compassion and poise.
I hope that you are happy to hear that some of the younger generation are trying to carry on the finer points of the industry's tradition.
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