Love Our Wine
I worked in the restaurant business for significantly more than 15 years and what I loved most about my job was the interaction with new people... plenty of new people!
For six years I managed an extremely busy restaurant on top of the west side of Manhattan with only 30 tables. Averaging 4 customers per table, a slow night could mean more than120 people! But since the goal is turning tables: seating as many customers as possible in a single night, it took some finesse but inaddition it meant seating sometimes over 300 people.
Effort, yes but we were rewarded with bonuses which made it really worth the effort.
My partners, Jack and Steve were amazing when it came to getting people to hold back "a few momemts" for his or her reservation. Whilst the reservation Direct Cellars everyone was in "limbo" waiting at the bar, we'd seat "walk-ins" from a nearby who may not have waited.
I was the sugar and spice manager who'd befriend the customers who have been dining, be sure that they had everything they needed, then hurry them along once the check came. I'd also calm people down who have been waiting at the bar. I'd chat together and make introductions to one other people waiting in limbo.
With ample chance to hone my introduction skills, I discovered that the simplest approach was usually the best. An easy introduction. No longer and no less.
Before long, word got out that this is a good place to meet people. Sometimes as much as thirty percent of individuals I introduced wound up giving up their reservation entirely, in favor of eating at the bar using their new found friends.
Business was booming, the bartenders were thrilled now handing a $50-$100 check to an individual in stead closing out a $20 tab for two martinis.
To produce it more personal, I'd keep a mental note (And a back-up book) of information on our regular customers. Greeting them by name and sometimes using their preferred drink if the table would definitely be considered a long wait.
People loved me nevertheless they loved being treated with V.I.P. status significantly more than anything. I asked about wives, children and vacations. I remembered birthdays, favorite meals, sports teams and regularly offered to buy flowers on behalf of the regular customer who was running late but above all I remembered people's occupations.
Knowing people's business or career choice was powerful information for me personally to have. To be able to network for individuals and help them create more business or more business contacts became my forte. More and more regularly people would call to learn "who" will be in the restaurant when they used to call to learn the specials.
The restaurant hummed with an alternative feeling when I worked. Now strangers were chatting away at the bar, seated guests were exchanging reviews on their meals or current movies and people passing each other were exchanging business cards. My introductions led to friends introducing friends and everyone seemed to understand one another.
Before and after our peek service hours, distributors would can be found in and have us sample wines, coffees, meats, cheeses and spices. We all had quite a solid knowledge base when it came to wine and our chef helped us to know more about pairing foods with wine.