How To be a Guest
Kim Severson in San Francisco's Chronicle writes an illuminating article about Thomas Keller's partner, Laura Cunningham, who oversees management at restaurants The French Laundry and Per Se. The article offers some insight into what goes on behind the scenes in Keller's five star restaurants, particularly in terms of service.
Readers might be more interested, however, in Cunningham's tips on How to be a Guest.
A great dining experience depends on good food and service, but being a good guest also can enhance it. Here are Laura Cunningham's tips on how to receive the kind of service she tries to provide at the French Laundry and Per Se.
-- Be friendly and appreciative
-- Make eye contact. Many guests will not even look up from the menu. .
-- Don't be afraid to ask for what you want, and don't be intimidated by a restaurant's image and or staff's demeanor. You are a paying client.
-- Ask questions about anything you are unsure of.
-- Treat the staff like professional customer service people rather than servants and hired help.
-- Develop trust with a particular staff member or two and let them take care of you.
-- Be open to suggestions.
-- Leave phone calls and cell phone and business matters elsewhere.
-- Do your homework. Is it the restaurant for you?
-- Thank the staff if you enjoyed your evening.
Read the full Chronicle article by Kim Severson here on SFGate How To be a Guest