I stopped by to see a former co-worker of mine, and to see how his world was going. He now has two nice, upscale places in town, and I wanted to know if things were working out for him.
He said two things that stuck with me, that I had to share the next day in class with my students. The first one: “The more I am in this business, the more I realize that I am just providing a service.” (This is a chef talking!) His other comment: “It’s almost as if the food doesn’t matter.” I had to stop myself from kissing him after hearing that one.
The food doesn’t matter?
He was absolutely serious! I wanted to find the tallest building and scream as loud as possible. I have been waiting to hear a chef say something like that for about thirty years. God love him.
He is right! He also mentioned that he often goes to places where the food isn’t that good, but the really great service keeps him coming back. I was getting rather dizzy at this point. It was almost too much for me to take.
All of those years of me seeing things coming out of the National Restaurant Association, or the Zagat Guide are actually true? People only care about getting their check in a timely fashion and getting their water glass refilled? Or having someone say hello to them right away? Really?
Apparently so. You want to be successful in this business? You want people to be talking about how wonderful your restaurant is? Start looking at your service.