The Experience

A few weeks ago I was out and about having lunch with my girlfriend. While looking around and checking out the the clientle, I was shocked by how many folks were on their phones. It got me thinking about the "good ole days", before cell phones. Basphamy I know!

To me, going out for a meal I don’t have to cook is still about the experience. It’s about the environment, the meal, the banter from the server, and that other thing we all used to participate in back in the day…. Oh yeah, the conversation. It’s that thing that connects us to the people around us. It’s also something you can see when you look at restaurants reviews. For some reason we have forgotten to talk with our servers about the food issues, and instead decide to get it all out on forums, review sites, and blogs.

Here is what I know from working most if not all parts of the F&B realm.

  • The server wants to hear from us to ensure we’re satisfied with our meal. Happy Guest = Better Tip, and more enjoyable shift.

  • The folks working in the restaurant will gladly make an attempt to change an unsatisfied customer into a happy customer (within reason). We’re all under the Service umbrella.

  • As a guest, I want the best experience as well. Why would I want to mess that up, and miss it?

I’ve been reading about a few restaurants that are now banning cell phone usage, and I can’t argue with them about that, in fact I think it’s brilliant!

Almost 20 years ago I was doing some restaurant openings for a place that had an open kitchen design, and I loved my shifts there. Guests would come in, you’d exchange jokes, light things on fire, and throw samples at them. However now with cell phones, that whole experience could be different, and think of what both sides miss out on.