I often find myself listening to unsatisfied guests complain. My eavesdropping comes from a heightened awareness that will never disappear. Once you have managed a restaurant, there’s no turning back.
With my demanding schedule, large network, and sheer appreciation for our industry, I find myself eating out more than most. I have the pleasure of dining in some of the greatest restaurants in the world, and thoroughly enjoy watching people feast. I take in their whole experience: the food, the ambiance, the service, the compliments, and the complaints.
On particularly demanding nights managing Blue Water Grill, I would be awarded the responsibility of gatekeeper. This was my first unrefined exposure to, “The Vinson View.” While not as popular a Steve Hanson-ism, as say, “Make it sexier” the art of complaining well is something that we should all learn to master. Anyone can get a comp or two these days, but why are you really complaining? “Complaining well is time consuming and almost like giving out free advice,” notes quality maniac and master shopper Nick Vinson.
After almost any meal at one of the restaurants I supply, I get the follow up question… How was it?
Here’s my confession: I often judge a restaurant on their tabletop selections. But that’s the value that I bring. My job is to let you know what’s wrong with your tabletop, in as nice a manner as possible. What value do you bring? Remember service improvement is the goal. But if you care about the establishments that you frequent, please complain well.
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