Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Your table will be ready in 1 min 20 secs. Huh?

We recently went to Kokkari in San Francisco. They are one of the top 100 restaurants in San Francisco, and I'm pretty sure they are the only Greek restaurant on the list.

We had a party of 7.  We got to the restaurant a little early so we could have a drink at the bar before dinner. We're enjoying our cocktails, chit chatting away.  A friendly waiter comes by with a yummy pizza appetizer for us to try.  Thank you!  Then the hostess comes over with a friendly, yet concerned look. Your table will be ready in one minute twenty seconds. Ok. Whatever. Then she's back again. Your table will be ready in one minute. Now she has our attention.  Are we late for something? Do you see us anxious to sit down? What's up?

So they lead us to our table, where the manager says "See!  I told you it would be a minute twenty!" Uh huh. Great. Thanks. We all sit down and they ask if we would like appetizers.  "Yes!" we say. They recommend the "blah, blah, blah" for groups.  "Perfect!" we'll take it. The appetizers arrived in a minute and twenty seconds.  I kid you not.  They were on the table 20 minutes before our wine arrived.  Very strange.  Are we sending weird signals?  Do we look like we're starving? Our friends were convinced we got appetizers that someone else ordered and didn't want. I don't think that's true, everything was hot and fresh. And I  am happy to report the zucchini patties and fried cheese with a lemon twist were liked by all.

So , we order dinner, had a lovely time and decided to pass on dessert.  "WHAT? No dessert?,"they say.  Nope.  Thank you!  And we were out of there.

One of the tricky things in the service industry is being able to read your guests. If you can do it, you're golden. If you can't, well, people won't come skipping back right away. It's something manager's should pay much more attention to. That's my opinion anyway.

Disclaimer:  This is my wine influenced recollection of the evening.  If you were there and saw something different, well, that's your opinion. 

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