As a former high school teacher, I often think of a restaurant a little like a school. The chef is the principal or a president, and the servers are kinda like students. Their tasks might be to know the cuisine, to promote the priorities of the restaurant, and to make people feel welcome. It's a more complicated dance than you'd think.
When we criticize servers, it can be an equivalent of calling students inept in a teacherless classroom. If a school did not have teachers, no one would be surprised if students could not perform tasks well or did not learn a subject. People need constant reinforcement whether they're 15 or 50. And it's not the principal's realm to teach English and Math while she's running the school.
That is why the general manager's job is so important.
They establish systems to ensure good service. They swoop in when a
server is in the weeds. They navigate tricky customers. They smooth
things over. They see servers leaning against the bar twirling their hair, their back to a
customer's face, and they correct it.
Sure, servers have to pull their own weight. But there's no incentive to
do so if there's no reward. If no one's in charge, it's tough for the
ranks to pull together a cohesive front.
I was reminded of this when I was slapped
by lax service eight of my nine visits to Tap 42.I really like Tap
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The issue I have is that on the whole, staff is not trained to be attentive to
detail. It's a teacherless classroom. I hope that it changes soon. More on that in this week's review.