or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › FOH steering the customers
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

FOH steering the customers - Page 2

post #31 of 35
I guess in a nutshell, the point I am trying to make is it's not a matter of not wanting to accommodate people, but at what point is my accommodating one customer inconveniencing another? That's where the problem comes in. Our kitchen is small and has limited equipment. Seating capacity is around 88 people and 225 covers is about all we can handle in one night. We have two cooks doing this, one on the broiler, one on the fryers. They trade off setting plates according to who has the most time to do it. The person on the broiler acts as expeditor. This is not the place that had all the problems. I worked both places at the same time and the one I'm at now used to feel like I was going on break when I went to work my shift compared to the other one. This place is more focused and the menu tailored to match our labor and equipment abilities. Most menu items have numerous preparation options. We will split prep methods 1/2 and 1/2, but I have had people try to order four scallops done four different ways, and that I won't do. If I did that, nothing would ever make it out of the kitchen and I would have a dining room full or irate people.
post #32 of 35

I hope you understand I wasn't addressing you specifically when I made my statements. It was more a blanket statement focusing on how I handled things.

With that said, you are the only one that can draw that line. You know your guest base, the capabilities of the operation, your staff and ultimately yourself.

You asked......

The only answer I can provide would be one I could give myself or my staff. You just don't let that happen. Or if it does because the request is that off the wall, the person(s) that is(are) asking the special request(s) need to be just as accommodating as you are. It's a give and take scenario. If you don't handle things yourself because of the needs of the business, you have to communicate this through your staff to the guest. This would probably be better handled by the Dining room Manager or owner if you are too busy but they (the guest that is) have to understand that this may take a little extra time and if they could please be patient you will be as accommodating as possible. It's better than an out-right refusal and both parties end up losing something.

It's never going to be a total win for all but it's a starting point. The next time they dine at the restaurant and you have the time to visit the table yourself, do just that. Talk to them. Make this guest a priority to know. Just not too much of a priority. If this is a specific guest that is consistently making this request, ask that the guest to "phone ahead". It does put the guest on the spot and may curtail the request but you are strengthening your relationship with the very people that you need to let the business survive. From the sound of things in talking with you, the restaurant and area is just small enough that you could greatly benefit from this.

I'm sure we all know this but it's all about Guest focus and service. And meeting the guests needs is how we focus and serve the guest. I'm a fairly proud person and I certainly have my moments when it comes to ego. But the role we have taken, guest service, is a subservient role at best. It's anticipating the needs of the very people you need to survive and succeed. It is humbling and very frustrating but I also know it can be very rewarding. (Gawd I miss the rewards!)

So, once again, it all boils down to the fact that only you know where to draw the line. Just understand that the position of that line is usually never the same and changes from moment to moment;)
post #33 of 35
No offense taken Old. We're all speaking in generalities here. How are you anyway? I do try to get out and talk to the people. I do that on Sat. nights. I go out on the floor, bartend if needed (mostly wash glasses) set plates on the line, pitch dishes in the dish pit. Try to stay out of the way. I have a blast. It's my favorite night of the week. Took awhile for the staff to understand that my giving them a hand here and there was not a silent criticism. They used to think if I helped them out for a few minutes that it meant I thought they weren't competent. Now they know I'm just greasing the wheels, that I'm not too good to do anything that needs to be done. But back to the subject. If I do go out of my way (Could you take the colossal shrimp out of their shells because I'm just too lazy; true story), yeah, if I have the time and it makes your whole night, fine. But don't come in here on a weekend night when it's crazy and expect us to do that because we won't. I make that very clear, and yes, I consider that a ridiculous request. If a person had a physical restriction that requires me to do this for them, that's different. I have elderly people that love crab legs and can't handle cracking them. Call ahead and tell me that, and I'll make arrangements, but don't just show up and tell me this in the heart of a rush. Like you said, it's give and take and I think we all need to work on getting customers to undersand that.
post #34 of 35
Come to think of it....... that was the toughest part of the job.

Hope you hadn't mentioned the fact that you were spending time "greasing the wheels" in a past email. I just plain missed that one and didn't realize you started spending time out in the dining room.:blush: I'd have to agree, it does make the job more enjoyable.

How am I doin'? Just trying to keep tying knots in the rope is about all I can do right now. Thanks for askin'.:D
post #35 of 35
Nah. Old, you didn't miss anything. The subject never came up. The previous G.M used to dictate what FOH did and had absolutely no experience in that area. I know enough to know that I don't know jack about running FOH. I used to wait tables, and I suck. Takes a certain person to do that, and I'm not it. Did it to get hours, but the bonus was it kept me in perspective about waitstaff point of view. They're caught in the middle between the customer and kitchen, generally taking s**t from both sides. It's easy to rip on waitstaff for forgetting to hang a ticket until you've done it yourself. You're a little more sympathetic when you've been in their shoes. I think all cooks should have to wait tables at least one night so they know what it feels like to have people staring at them because their food isn't coming out. They should all have to wash dishes too. You're a little more careful about burning pans when you're the one washing it. I still have a kitchen policy of you burnt it, you wash it. And I guess I'm getting senile because I'm the only one who ever burns pans! :D If I'm behind the bar, I tell people I can make the drinks, but they won't let me play with the money (I won't get in someone else's till) and they think it's the funniest thing. If they get stuck with me waiting on them, I tell thim it's their bad luck and I hope they didn't buy a lottery ticket. Lets me get by with murder on the floor, but everybody has a good time.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › FOH steering the customers