The waiter’s fear is usually generated by the fact that it requires asking for a commitment from the kitchen, something that could well result in the demonstration of an imaginative new application for a professional food blender. The chef’s gripe is that he is an artist, and no one kept popping their head round the door of the Sistine Chapel to ask Michelangelo how much longer it would be.
I had cause to think about the issue myself recently. Our party of six eating was served drinks, our orders taken, and then it all went quiet. It was a biggish pub, but I reckon it took the member of staff far more time to plot a course that kept her well away from our table than it would have done to wander past, smile and say “sorry, the kitchen’s a bit busy, can I get you any more drinks?”
Research by Market Force Europe, which mystery visits pubs and restaurants, shows that customers are twice as likely to recommend a venue because of the service than because of the food and drink. When asked to rate what is most important in a restaurant:
This 'Kitchen Porter' column appears in the September 2012 issue of fuller's Tenants Extra