Thursday, May 5, 2011

Restaurants and Royalty

In scanning the headlines of today’s Restaurant Smartbrief, there was this question:

What's the first thing your guests notice when they walk into your restaurant? They said it was the cleanliness of the tableware. That wasn’t surprising when I realized that it was really an advertisement for Ecolab, an industrial cleaning supply company.

Well, never mind about THAT, but it still made me think about that question. What IS the first thing I notice when I walk into a restaurant? It’s not the tableware, that’s for sure. Lucky for them, I don’t begin my inspection of that until I have one Cosmo under my belt, at least.

The first thing I notice in a restaurant is the greeting I get. If it’s lukewarm, then that’s the temperature of my initial opinion of the place…and it’s an uphill battle for them to regain my good faith. If there’s NO ONE at the door, then that’s really bad and it may result in a grudge that I’ll hold until I’m persuaded not to…by a good server or (the aforementioned) stiff cocktail.

What’s an example of a good greeting? Well, Open Table makes it easy to test the restaurant. I always try to add a remark or two to the comment box.

Two separate times that I’ve been to Roy’s  (and two DIFFERENT Roy’s, by the way), I mentioned in the little box that I was eagerly anticipating the best cocktail I’ve ever had – their 1988, featuring LYCHEE liqueur. Honestly, it is lip-smacking, gorgeously delicious. One time, the gal, greeting us at the desk, asked if I was ready for my cocktail 3 seconds after we gave our name. The next time, it was the waiter that headed straight for the table and said, “Susan, shall I get your 1988 right now?” (Of course, he was looking right at the other woman at the table, but I hadn’t sent ahead a personal dossier with a photo, so I excused that.)

The point is that a greeting is good, a PERSONAL greeting is even better.  And that’s the first thing I notice about a restaurant.

We saw a lot of Prince Chuck last week as the proud father of the groom. Actually, he looks pretty proud no matter where he is. 

I would have loved to have HEARD the conversation he had with the President yesterday. How many “Pip, pips and all that”, do you think he got out before the President had to excuse himself to go run the world?

And I’m happy that he’s supportive of the First Lady’s childhood obesity initiatives. But he must have thought that that tiny plot at the White House was rather paltry next to all of his expansive organic acres at Highgrove, with its specially built reed bed sewage system, much loved by dragonflies

Actually, it’s great that, although raised in a rarefied atmosphere of which we commoners have little understanding, he is fighting the good fight, warning that unsustainable farming is overtaxing nature and leading the world towards a food crisis. Prince OR pauper, we should all be concerned. 


Emily said...

Yes, a nice greeting is very important! I guess the first thing I notice when I walk in a restaurant is how clean it looks. That's pretty important!

Sue said...

Really? Oh my! You're going to have to wear blinders whenever you come to my house.