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                 Restaurant Report E-mail Newsletter

         For Hospitality Professionals and Food Connoisseurs

                     Issue #131  January 28, 2001


In This Issue

*   Question of the Week - Gift Certificates
*   Feature Article - Smiles
*   RR Cover Story - Interview with Jean-Georges Vongerichten
*   Reader Feedback - Food, Service or Marketing?
*   Bulletin Board

    (This publication may be freely redistributed in its entirety)
               (Back issues are archived on the website)

        ** Newsletter below to learn more **


                         QUESTION OF THE WEEK

We have a popular upscale restaurant in South Carolina, and we
actively market our gift certificates. We use an expiration date of
one year which was suggested by our accountant. There have been many
instances where people will produce a gift certificate way past the
expiration date, and our policy has been to honor them. Some other
restaurant owners have told me they refuse to honor them after the
expiration date.

It's a major accounting problem, but we don't wish to offend any
customers. It would be most interesting to learn how other restaurants
handle this particular problem.


Send comments/feedback to


                          FEATURE ARTICLE

Smiles, The Eyes Have It!
By Paul C. Paz

"Smiles everyone!" That was the opening line by Ricardo Montleban in
the old television show "Fantasy Island". A story based on the premise
of hospitality. As if hospitality and smiles were a fantasy! A recent
article in The Oregonian (Portland, OR) got me thinking about smiles
and how they relate to the hundreds of one-to-one encounters each
waiter experiences with diners every week.

Per the Oregonian, "It's the most powerful of all facial expressions
and the most radiant. Some say it's one of the things that make
civilization possible. The smile is a universal expression of peace
and willingness to cooperate - a vital message to communicate in an
often hostile world."

Recent studies indicate the smile is the oldest form of expressing the
desire and willingness to cooperate. It is a potent facial expression
that can be detected from as far away as the length of a football
field making it the most visible facial expression from a distance.
New York author (The New Secrets of Charisma) and psychologist, Doe
Lang says, "Any tension in the mouth when you're not smiling is very,
very rapidly picked up." She says," People assume that you are mean
when you purse your lips".

Given that impact that's why it's so important to acknowledge diners
visually with a SMILE. It makes folks feel welcomed and that we're
glad they've joined us. But a smile on the lips only is not enough.

The Oregonian continues, "Lang says, "A smile can heighten your
magnetism. I teach people to do the secret smile that's seen in
ancient statuary. It's a pleasant smile but noncommittal. It looks
like you have a wonderful secret that you will tell or will not tell.
First you smile with your lips then you leave the smile on your eyes
and on your cheekbones but drop it from your lips. Eyes are essential
to a good smile".

A smile of true enjoyment is difficult to fake. A true smile is
connected to the muscles surrounding the eyes. These muscles cause the
cheeks to raise and the crow's-feet at the eye's edges. In the words
of the 19th century French neurologist, Duchenne de Boulogne who
discovered this, "The emotion of frank joy is expressed on the face by
the combined contraction of lip and eye muscles. The first obeys the
will, but the second is only put into play by the sweet emotions of
the soul". The eyes have it!

Lang states further, "Smiling is a universal sign of acceptance. In
American culture smiling holds an honored place. We had vast spaces
and new frontiers, and people had to show that they were friendly. The
smile was considered a necessary component of social skills". So at
the beginning of each shift remind yourself with that famous line,
"Smiles everyone"!

Paul C. Paz

Send newsletter feedback and comments to us at



Interview with Master Chef/Owner Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Internationally reputed for his markedly innovative cuisine,
Jean-Georges Vongerichten, has emerged as one of world's leading
chefs. Acclaimed as "formidably gifted," "residential genius" and
"enfant terrible of modern French cooking," this culinary master has
set new standards and redefined fine dining.




**Original Question:

Which is more important: Food, Service or Marketing?

 - Lbrowne

**Next Post

Wolfgang Puck tells his staff..."it's about the food, it's about the
people..." Priority one, the food must have flavor and value.  Even
"flawless" service cannot salvage a guest served poor quality food.
Getting the first 2 right, will result in your customers doing your
marketing for you.

One man's opinion.

Craig Purdy

**Next Post

Undoubtedly the answer is food!

If the service is poor but the food is awesome I'd go back for food
but partake in the take out service. Marketing is a great tool to help
people in the door but food will keep them coming back! In addition if
the food is awesome word of mouth advertising will be a tremendous
means of marketing for the cost of great food!

Good Luck,

**Next Post

I feel food and service is more important then marketing because
without good food and good service you have nothing to market.  The
best marketing is word of mouth for restaurant so when it comes to
making your menu and selecting your staff make sure it fits with the
market in your area and that the staff believe in your concept and the
marketing will take place by itself by word of mouth.

James Cataldi
Restaurant Manager
Joe Mama Restaurant
Fine Eats Corporation
Pittsburgh PA

**Next Post

A wise person once said,  "Good food can't save bad service.  However,
great service can save an average meal."

Regarding marketing - If you retain the guest through excellence in
service and food, you will not need to market as aggressively.


**Next Post

Which is more important -- That's like asking if your heart, lungs or
brain is the most important -- you wouldn't be able to live without
any one of them!

Marketing is designed to accomplish one thing -- to deliver willing
customers to your door. Once they arrive, it's all up to the Food and
the Service to determine if they'll ever be back.

Good food and great service is the best form of Marketing, to generate
repeat business and positive word-of-mouth.

David Archer
Restaurant Marketing Resources

**Next Post

FOOD: A good chef in the kitchen certainly helps -- presentation is
just as important since customers eat with their eyes.

SERVICE: Good food can be degraded with poor service.

MARKETING: What difference do either make if you do not have


**Next Post

Food if your the chef, Service if your the customer and marketing if
your the business owner or investor. All three if you want to survive
the first year.


Send newsletter feedback and comments to us at


                          BULLETIN BOARD

**Next Post - Re: Federal Minimum Wage

I've been waiting tables for 20 years. I'm now in the process of a big
push for our politicians to raise our federal minimum wage, which has
been capped off at 2.13 an hour for the last 10 years. I don't know
how many of you are aware of this fact, but trust me it is true. House
Speaker Dennis Hastert wants to freeze our wage at this rate
permanently and I am trying to get as many servers, buspeople and
bartenders as possible to write to their congressman to let them know
that this is not right. If the federal minimum wage goes up for
everyone why not for us too. We all know lots of people that need to
do this type of work, who like myself, love this type of work, and are
very proud to call themselves "servers". I'm asking for your help, I
have a connection in Congressman LoBiondo R-NJ office in D.C. this
gentleman is keeping me abreast of where congress is regarding this
issue. My last conversation with him was 1/17/01 and he told me that
congress will be starting their work again in the next 3 weeks and
that the minimum wage is a priority. So what we as servers need to do
is send letters to our local federal politicians demanding that they
fight to raise our minimum wage.


**Next Post - Re: Economics of Cooking

Where on the net can I find information on the economics of being a
chef.  Like, how much does a chef make each year, and much does it
cost to open a restaurant, the cost for supplies -- something along
those lines.


**Next Post - Re: Restaurant Operations Manual

Where may I obtain a good reference, and template for writing an
operation manual for a concept restaurant.


**Next Post - Re: Specialty Food Suppliers & Purveyors

I am trying to find out if there is a list of specialty food
suppliers/purveyors that sell specifically wholesale to restaurants. I
am interested in suppliers who sell hard-to-find items such as Asian
spices and vegetables, truffles, etc. I am especially interested in
wholesalers that supply restaurants on an on-going basis, thereby
easing their purchasing responsibilities and burdens. Any help would
be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


**Next Post - Re: Restaurant Startup

I am working on a new restaurant with some partners and we are trying
to make sure that we have all of the operating and startup costs in
our business plan. Is there a site or location where we could get
some help to make sure we have them all?

satnamsingh -

**Next Post - Re: Culinary Migration

What do you understand by the term "Culinary Migration" and its
significance on modern cuisine?


**Next Post - Re: Vacuum Cleaners

We are looking for a cleaner for a high traffic carpet in our dinning
room.  We have been in business for 8 mo. and have gone thru our
second cleaner already.


Note @ the Bulletin Board: If you can lend advice/assistance/comments
etc. please respond to the individual directly and cc: us here at  We'll summarize and post
responses we receive that would benefit the group.


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Copyright 2001 Restaurant Report

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