Restaurants, thou shalt heed these tips

Restaurants, thou shalt heed these tips

There are 26 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Mar 3, 2009, titled Restaurants, thou shalt heed these tips. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

"It's a great time to be a restaurant customer," says Larry Huber, co-owner of Clean Plate Club, which operates six restaurants in Chicago's suburbs.

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Jeff

United States

#1 Mar 5, 2009
Does no one spellcheck at this paper, anymore? The word is restaurateur, not restauranteur.
geezer

Pawnee, IL

#2 Mar 5, 2009
I dislike it when the server trys to be your long lost friend instead of giving service. Also it's annoying when they constantly ask if there is anything more they can do for you when they haven't done very much in the first place. Why do I have to tell them what they have to do? why don't they look at the table and do what should be done.
sick of it all

Bolingbrook, IL

#3 Mar 5, 2009
There is a fine line between refilling a water glass as if your job depends on it and refilling it too often.
Tedd

Melrose Park, IL

#4 Mar 5, 2009
it's a shame it takes an economy like this to bring these things to light. These things should be regular operating procedure whether the economy is good or bad.
my2cents

United States

#5 Mar 5, 2009
Stay away from my table unless I ask. Clearing plates while I am still eating always makes me wonder if there some sort of major plate shortage in the kitchen!
Futuredoc2012

Springfield, IL

#6 Mar 5, 2009
Another great tip for restauranteurs is to explore new sites for restaurants in less concentrated restaurant areas where there is minimal competition, although you're business can compete with anyone else's'. 98% of all fine dining restaurants are located on the north side and downtown areas. There is plenty of opportunities available on the south side. Don't believe all the stereotypes and let go of personal biases.
jonny

Thornton, IL

#7 Mar 5, 2009
The Trib can no longer afford good spelling, I guess. Shame.
Joan

Redford, MI

#8 Mar 5, 2009
Mr. Huber is correct about service, but he should realize that this is nothing new in his Pete Miller's--Evanston location. His manager, Maureen Broom, has been providing amazing customer service for years. She manages to make every customer feel like a "regular" and her staff (from the hostess to the person filling the water glasses) does not miss a beat in their professionalism. I have never looked at the prices on the menu in all of my visits, because Ms. Broom always makes the experience worth it.
Quick Joey Small

United States

#9 Mar 5, 2009
"I solicited tips from several restaurateurs..."

Next time try soliciting from people that will matter and not plug their own businesses: THE CUSTOMERS
Quick Joey Small

United States

#10 Mar 5, 2009
Joan wrote:
Mr. Huber is correct about service, but he should realize that this is nothing new in his Pete Miller's--Evanston location. His manager, Maureen Broom, has been providing amazing customer service for years. She manages to make every customer feel like a "regular" and her staff (from the hostess to the person filling the water glasses) does not miss a beat in their professionalism. I have never looked at the prices on the menu in all of my visits, because Ms. Broom always makes the experience worth it.
Awwwww... Do I detect a romance in the near future?

Since: Dec 07

zz9 plural zα

#11 Mar 5, 2009
i thought this was a great column. and i agree about the fine line re: water glass filling.

there's also the lost art of Which Arm To Use when serving and clearing. the elbows in face plague is epidemic.

Since: Dec 07

zz9 plural zα

#12 Mar 5, 2009
i know a famously grouchy hostess who's made a career of losing business for restaurants.

but at least there's always a table available.
Whadya Expect

AOL

#13 Mar 5, 2009
My family and I walked into a restaurant in Lincoln Park at 5:35pm this past Friday afternoon. We were to be at the Wynton Marsalis performance on So. Mich Av for an 8pm curtain, so, we weren't going to exactly be hang'n round. In quickly eye-balling the dinning room I could see they only had two tables with couples at each seated and all but one of their tables and/or booths would have at some of us having the distraction of a TV during our meal. So, I asked to be seated in the sole booth and/or table they had that wouldn't have the TV glittering its --- whatever, at us while we dined. The hostess replied 'we keep that both for parties of five or six', to which I inquired 'is it reserved', to which she replied 'no.' I offered her the suggestion that if a party of five or more came in perhaps they could simply put together two of their four-tops. She said the manager wants it this way and said she'll have to ask him about it. When she returned she said 'he said no.' Mind you, there were only four people in the place at that point and we'd been kept waiting for nearly ten minutes over my simply request to be seated where we'd be away from the front door {it was a cold night}, not be forced to have a TV glaring at us during our meal and I was told 'no.' If I hadn't already parked the car, had my son with me and/or hadn't eaten up {so to speak} so much time to be seated - we'd have been out of there. However - given these three aforementioned reasons, we accepted a seating and ordered dinner. While the server was friendly and professional, and the food well presented, I wouldn't think of EVER going back to that establishment. As we dined the booth I'd requested remained empty. At no point during our time there did neither the hostess or the never seen 'manager' stop'd by the table - let alone offered to buy is a drink, offer a desert, etc. We finished our meal, paid the bill and did not make the server - who did her job just fine, pay for either the hostesses or manager's... stupidity.
You want to know why restaurants are suffering? It's not just the economy, it's that they're often run and/or staffed by complete idiots! I've dined around the world - from the finest on offer in New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Bangkok, San Francisco, Port of Spain, et al, to little road-side... joints in nowheresville anywhere and it always comes down to the basics: was my patronage appreciated? I don't expect to have my &ss kissed, but - the absurdity of the position my 'host' took on the southeast corner of Lincoln and Schubert last Friday night speaks for itself. I guess they live by the standard that 'the customer is simply and always wrong.'
Asked and Answered

AOL

#14 Mar 5, 2009
Wanna know why most non-chain restaurants fail - even in good times, within 18 months of open'g is {seriously - they've got THE highest failure rate of ANY new business in any/all categories}? They're run by non-business people / amateurs. No other business requires you to maintain a bricks and mortar operation, comply with health-codes, keep staff on - regardless of not knowing what your demand is going to be from day to day and/or meal to meal, maintain inventory - not knowing what your demand will be, pay your fixed overhead expenses - regardless of fluctuations, manufacture your product - on demand, serve your product - in a timely manner, bill the consumer and collect for the transaction - all at within the matter of a very short time.
When people are staying away from restaurants in droves, the experience of 'Whadya Expect' reflects people running restaurants that have neither common sense nor the basic business skills to do so. When you've a golden goose in your doors - you don't slaughter it to make fried chicken, you learn how to make egg dishes and be sure to care for that goose.
Falling On Their Sword

AOL

#15 Mar 5, 2009
Both at home and at my firm we'd been ordering food delivered from a near-north-side restaurant for years and we were pleased with their service and product. It was about the last thing I ever expected, but, when I took my family to dine IN their restaurant the other day I was treated like... pond-scum. I won't bore you with details, but, suffice it to say they're not going to get any more of my business [dinning in, nor delivery at home, or at the firm]! Over the years I'd spent thousands of dollars with this place and I wouldn't have expected them to treat anyone the way we were treated.
I don't know what these folks were thinking, but, maybe they should start thinking about where and how they'll be eating once they've driven away their customer base.

Since: Dec 07

zz9 plural zα

#16 Mar 5, 2009
oh, i do so wish "Whadya Expect" had left. i know you had reasons. but i have had the privilege of not giving my business to people who don't want it, and i assume that they are just as pleased as i am.

i google streetviewed the corner of lincoln & schubert, so everyone could know what you were talking about. luckily for them, their edifice is blocked by a convenient CTA bus.

http://maps.google.com/maps...

Since: Dec 07

zz9 plural zα

#17 Mar 5, 2009
by the way, i have never received a response from phil vettel.

i've emailed him somewhere between 2 and 6 times over the years. i'm not really sure how many.

i've never had a response.

after this article i emailed him again. i wonder how responsive he'll be.

pot, kettle
EnoughIsEnough

Chicago, IL

#18 Mar 5, 2009
Futuredoc2012 wrote:
Another great tip for restauranteurs is to explore new sites for restaurants in less concentrated restaurant areas where there is minimal competition, although you're business can compete with anyone else's'. 98% of all fine dining restaurants are located on the north side and downtown areas. There is plenty of opportunities available on the south side. Don't believe all the stereotypes and let go of personal biases.
I'm not stereotyping at all, But the south side is still very dangerous. Sorry but it's the cruel reality. There is crime everywhere in Chicago, however the south side area or where there are a lot of black people is a super dangerous zone. And don't call me racist, IT'S THE CRUEL REALITY! A couple of months ago I wanted to patronize a restaurant on the south side, guess what happened to my car? they broke in and stole everything. Same thing happened to my friend. Sorry, but I'm never every going to a restaurant on the south side where there is a big afro population. Once again, don't call me racist, but it's hard to hide the reality with a needle!
kelly

Seattle, WA

#19 Mar 11, 2009
Raise wine by the glass prices? Are you nuts? It's already way overpriced at most restaurants.
Marvin Greenberg

Barrie, Canada

#20 Mar 11, 2009
Practical, attainable and will produce results. Difficult because most Owners and Supervisors do not have the fortitude and discipline to apply consistently.

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