Oui, Oui! JPP Goes French!
|February 23, 2013||Posted by jpnews under All the News That's Fit to Eat||
Here in the Jaded Palate Productions studio, we had the pleasure of interviewing 2 more fabulous servers for our lovable Wait-a-Minute series. The difference being, both Thierry and Benedicte are from France and they surely had a few things to teach us from across the pond.
According to our subjects, Americans are far less professional than the French. In France, serving is not just a job (after all the word restaurateur comes from the French word “to serve,”) it’s a lifestyle, a career and a well-respected position in the eyes of their customers. Servers are well-versed in the food preparation, wines, wine pairings, customer satisfaction and the overall growth and reputation of the restaurant. They feel that here in the US, servers are only taking it as as a job to make money. Most servers don’t have the same amount of pride in the jobs and will do anything just to make a bigger tips.
Although we coaxed them into talking about problematic customers, they both stressed the importance of being polite, knowing how their customers feel, what their customers want and mostly just giving them a overall, pleasurable experience.
Thierry, a native of Versailles, has been the restaurant industry for over 25 years. He has worked throughout Europe, The Caribbean and California. He’s done everything from being a restaurant owner, General Manager, Server and Bartender. He sometimes feels that customers think servers are their slaves. Treating and talking to them as if they are just the hired help. He feels that San Franciscans are a little different being a food and service oriented city. “People are more respectful of us and what we do here.” San Franciscans are very knowlegeable about food, wine, where they come from and how well they work together. Thierry stresses knowledge, proper server etiquette, politeness and smiling all the time.
Benedicte, who hails from Normandy, is a sassy one with a dark sense of humor. She explains that sometimes her customers take her sense of humor as possible insults, but she’s just using humor to get a smile and “loosen” them up a little bit. At her bistro, she serves tables, answers the phone, buses the tables, practically everything so the restaurant doesn’t have to hire more people, thus allowing her to make more money. She, like Thierry, believe that they have to work hard to earn the tips they receive and that in order to get that 20%, she has to provide the experience that she feel her customers want.
Take notice… There’s a lot we can learn from the French. And i’m not talking fries (unless cooked in duck fat, twice!)