Importance of Having a Staff that’s Genuine and Engaging
While being knowledgeable is important, it’s equally important that both servers and bartenders actually interact with their guests and make connections. Aside from the excellent food and drinks, it is those connections that are the true reason they keep coming back. Someone I very much respect once said “People don’t go out to a Fine Dining restaurant because they’re hungry; they go out seeking entertainment. If they were hungry they would eat at home”. There’s so much truth behind that statement. People don’t make a reservation at an expensive restaurant for a Friday night, weeks ahead, because they know they’re going to be hungry then; they do it because it’s nice. They almost always make it an ordeal; starting with drinks at the bar, getting escorted to their table and proceeding to enjoy a two or three course meal, taking their time, relishing every bite and the atmosphere around them. The most important thing is that they leave satisfied; not just full, but truly satisfied with their experience. You don’t see a lot of that at pretend-fine-dining restaurants; mainly because most servers are in fact mere order takers that are just there to collect the tip they feel they are entitled to. Being a server is much more than that, and working for a true Fine Dining restaurant helps you realize that. I stumbled into this hipstery pretentious looking bar once, and grabbing their drink menu I saw a glossary section in the back, giving a history lesson on the prohibition era, drinks like Sazerac and spirits like Absinthe. At first it didn’t bother me but upon thinking about it, it actually started to gnaw at me a little. I realized just how uninterested the bartenders were in spending time with their guests; they all has a snobby look of indifference on their faces. The mere fact that they took a conversation piece and shoved it into a menu just to avoid human contact reflects the whole demeanor of that bar, and I for one do not approve.