The Restaurant of My Dreams

Rob and I eat out fairly often, but I don't know if I've ever been to a place with this kind of service.  Bruce Buschel is my new hero.  My favorites from his list of One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do, Part One:

  • (7 / 10 / 40 / 43) Chummy Chattiness.  My sister's mantra was always "Friendly, not familiar."  It's a good one.  I'm not against a server introducing herself, but I don't really see the point (I rarely remember it, and even if I do, what am I going to do if I need her?  Yell?)  Ditto for her personal preferences, which will almost certainly not be mine.

  • (15) Complacent Ignorance.  Are there peanuts in the sauce?  Do the crabs come from Maryland or Louisiana or Japan?  It's okay if you don't know, but at least realize it's your job to find out.

  • (17) Obsessive Plate-Clearing. A dear friend with French blood first pointed this out to me: in the United States, servers act as if it's a contest to see who can finish first.  If someone eats more quickly than others, he has to sit awkwardly in front of an empty place; if more slowly, in front of a full plate while others twiddle their thumbs.  Meanwhile, the server continually asks "Are you finished?" or, worse, "Are you still working on that?"  Which makes me want to respond with an equally rude comment about my digestive tract, which will continue to work on it for several hours, thank you very much.

  • (23) Good God.  I really must be dreaming.  I have never had a server offer to do this.

  • (34-47) Gossip.  My friends have all heard me grouse about this from time to time.  Almost no retail establishment is immune, no matter the caliber.  It is crass and rude to talk to a customer about your break time, your personal problems or your co-workers (telling me the chef is inept may pass the blame from your shoulders, but it won't increase my confidence in your establishment.)  Be polite.  Be civil.

I hope I get to visit this restaurant someday!  It will be a great experiment as to whether truly service-oriented businesses can succeed.