Monday, December 15, 2008

How to Help a Restaurant Work to Make You Look Good

Tonight I was a guest at The Winery in The District in Tustin, CA. A totally awesome experience! It reminded me that nothing is as sweet as entertaining business guests at a nice restaurant and offering a staff the chance to do what they can do so well. While a restaurant cannot help you with small talk, they can make you look great in so many other ways. Try these few things and I can almost guarantee your guests will be impressed:
  • Treat staff like the entertainment experts they are -- As soon as you walk through the restaurant door every staff member should be treated like experts. They know the best seats, they know the best wines, they know the best dishes, because in fact, they do. But don't patronize -- that will quickly earn you a seat next to the kitchen with the bar-back as your host.
  • Ask the host, your server, and the cocktail server/bartender/sommelier for their recommendations, and do not differ with their choices (unless the choice is radically wrong). I have shared with the host the purpose of my evening and been treated to a fantastic experience without having to make another decision except which card to put the charges on.
  • Be sure to tell the staff your budget. They will do everything they can to bring out the best if they know the boundaries.
  • Learn their names, and introduce your guests. It should be no suprise that restaurant staff like being treated warmly. Wouldn't you?
There are so many ways to have a great guest experience at a restaurant -- I am certain you might offer so many more suggestions. The point is that, YOU ARE A GUEST of the restaurant! Act like one and every meal will be exactly the entertainment experience you need.