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The Most Important Person in the Dining Room

May 18, 2014 | Frank Bonanno

I’m reading through the training manual for Salt & Grinder, and I like the following section. It’s reminiscent of the Danny Meyers School of Thought–whose book, by the way, is required reading for all of our employees.

“E X P E C T A T I O N S
‘Who is the most important person in the dining room?’ It’s you. It’s us. Happy staff=happy guests. Your professionalism will enhance the experience of your team members, your clients, yourself. Be a happy professional.

Professionalism means arriving early and staying late when the occasion necessitates. It means pitching in when your team members go down. It means understanding not just the menu descriptions of the food, but the actual ingredients and preparation involved in bringing it to the plate.

Professionalism means a clean work environment, a sharp uniform, and a positive demeanor. It requires completing opening and closing sidework so that fellow professionals aren’t burdened with someone else’s unfinished responsibilities. Professionalism entails the ability to sense when a dining group is in a hurry, and when they want to linger and enjoy the evening. Professionalism means appreciating children as long-term clients and behaving accordingly. Most importantly, a professional enhances everyone’s experience: client and team-mate, front of house to back.

Our team is a tight family; respect one another, and bring something special to your work place. Above all, exceed everyone’s expectations, including your work team’s.”

I know it’s standard material, that last bit about exceeding everyone’s expectations–but do it. I say that as much as a reminder to myself as to anyone who takes a moment to read this piece.

Exceed expectations. Be happy.
Because (again, this is pretty standard material): Life is good.