January 27, 2006

Front Of The House

New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni reports on a week as a waiter at Cambridge's East Coast Grill. It's hard work. Thanks, Megnut.

Even better on the subject is a brief chapter in Ruhlman's Making of a Chef. It's not because Ruhlman's experience differs, and it's not about the writing. Bruni's point is, essentially, "This is hard work!" Ruhlman goes further, exploring some ways an expert waiter can make the work easier by making the customer happier. A couple brings a toddler? Get the toddler a small basket of the restaurant's wonderful home-made bread right now, and ask the parent's permission; you'll please the parents and you've given the toddler something to do -- and toddlers can think of lots of other things to do that will give you a headache.