Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

06/29/2012

Tipping Etiquette (from the customer’s point of view)

One of the perks of working in a front-of-house position is the opportunity to supplement your income with (sometimes extremely generous) tips. How it’s given and how much often depends on the type of place that you’re in and varies from country to country. I was surprised to learn recently that in parts of Austria and Germany, it is customary to announce to the waiter the amount to which you would like to round up the bill when paying.
Being very British in my attitude to money, this struck me as rife with problems and possible embarrassment. It seemed tantamount to broadcasting how good you thought the service was which caused me to over tip wildly to try to make up for the awkwardness I caused when my maths deserted me and I ended up tipping ten cents for a fifteen euro bill. This experience made me more appreciative of the system we have in the UK, where the amount we choose to give is either a closely guarded secret between us and the card machine or left on the table as we leave. That said, neither method absolves you from being a poor tipper- coppers are never ok. Are there any other hard and fast tipping rules?

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06/18/2012

Single dish restaurants

It’s been said that variety is the spice of life but it seems that many in the food industry don’t agree: restaurants with very limited menus are apparently on the rise. From specialising in one ingredient to offering just a few choices, many restaurants seem to be putting all their eggs in one basket so to speak. This does have the advantage of less waste, the chance to really excel at one particular dish and, from the point of view of the customer, it means much less time spent deliberating before the waiter comes back and you panic choose but would it get boring? How would a group possibly decide which restaurant to visit? What do you think?

06/14/2012

Alcohol Minimum Pricing

Scottish Parliament has passed the Alcohol Minimum Pricing Bill, which would make cut price drinks promotions a thing of the past. I’m going to be completely honest here: I don’t see the point. I just don’t understand why that would be a good thing to do. Having read about the supposed benefits of the scheme, I really can’t see any of them actually happening. So what will happen?

05/25/2012

Vegetarian Pubs?!

London now has its first two vegetarian pubs.  Under Alastair Choat, the Coach and Horses in Soho and the Smithfield Tavern in the City have both redesigned their menus and renounced the use of meat.  Call me old fashioned but I’m not convinced that I can handle the idea of vegetarian pubs. I’m not entirely sure what it is about the idea that offends me so but I really don’t like it. Sausage and mash is just not the same with a veggie sausage. Is a pub really a pub without the ubiquitous steak and ale pie?

Having given up meat at various stages of my life (for Lent and the like), I enjoy vegetarian food as much as the next person and have even been known to frequent vegetarian restaurants  from time to time but the English pub is a sacred part of our culture that, to my mind, should not be messed with or gentrified.  Am I over-reacting? Is this really a more sustainable business venture or just another way of spoiling The Pub?

04/19/2012

Less than 100 days to the Olympics!

Yesterday marked the 100 day countdown to the Olympics and it looks like being a fantastic year for hospitality businesses. With the Queens Jubilee also looking like being a crowd puller – are you ready for a busy summer? The demand for temporary waiting staff and chefs is unlikely to ever be higher. What do you think? Are you looking forward to the Olympics?

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04/11/2012

Kitchen Temperatures

Now that summer looks like it’s finally on the way, it reminds me of some of the unbearably hot kitchen’s I’ve worked in over the years. Sure, every chef knows it’s a hot place to work but why can’t some owners put any air con in the Kitchen or better ventilation when it’s hot outside? Obviously I’m sure some people would say “If you can’t stay the heat, get out of the Kitchen” but when chefs love what they do, it doesn’t mean they have to put up with terrible conditions! Let me know what you think!

 

04/05/2012

Have a great Easter Weekend

We hope you all have a great Easter weekend and here’s a few amusing photos to get you in the mood!

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04/04/2012

Working on Bank Holidays

With the Easter Bank holidays approaching some chefs have queried why staff in the catering industry don’t get time and a half for working when everyone else is off. Many other industries pay their staff more to work Bank Holiday’s so why not restaurant and hotel staff? Let us know your views!

03/16/2012

Since it’s Friday

Some funny restaurant signs…

03/12/2012

Buffet Restaurants

Buffet style restaurants seem to be opening everywhere at the moment. They attract 1000’s upon 1000’s of customers every single week and can’t be ignored. In the Middle and Far East buffets are very popular and the quality is very high with most 4/5 star hotels serving them. But still a lot of people think they serve terrible food full of MSG. What do you think? They are an essentially part of the UK restaurant scene.