I remember trying to impart my maitre' d style and philosophy to James Sakalian and Danny Ferguson, our two hotshot bartenders both promoted to manager. James and Danny had great charisma, high energy, fairness, smarts and a disarming smile. They were gonna make jam-up managers. I was pow-wowing the nuances of handling the front, reading the needs of waiting guests, handling reservations, accommodating regulars, etc.
James leans back in his chair, slaps me on the back and shoots me an infectious grin. "Don't worry bout showin us the front, we've got that down. Just teach us the back of the house, y'know, the kitchen stuff, inventory, ordering, expediting."
You two have got the front down, yea right.
"Yea what's the big deal about accurately estimating wait times, seating fairly, reading a party's special occasion needs or special physical needs? Jugglin reservations, preferred seating, and walk-in regulars? Coordinating large groups, loud groups, drunk groups, corporate outings, and romantic occasions? Ad-libbing no shows, dine & dashers, schmoozing pushy little ole ladies, soothing unhappy children, and defanging belligerant assholes? Knowing when to be King Solomon, when to be Job, when to be clairvoyant, when to be firm, when to stand your ground, when to show your teeth? Yall got all that down?"
Yea, the front's nothin. Just point me in that direction and watch us go.
Friday, February 26, 2010
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