Fine Dining Restaurant Service Standards

waiter1Fine dining restaurants typically have high standards for service. If you have ever done a fine dining restaurant mystery shop, you know how detailed the questions can be.

The four-star Le Bernardin restaurant in New York City has exacting standards for service. In fact, they have a list of 129 “sins” that staff are to avoid when serving customers.

Many of the these will be familiar to mystery shoppers, as they are the kinds of things we are asked to evaluate in our reports:

  • Not acknowledging guests with eye contact and a smile within 30 seconds. First impressions count!
  • Not thanking the guests as they leave. Last impression!
  • Forks with bent tines.
  • Chipped glassware.
  • Burned-out lightbulbs.
  • Lack of eye contact.
  • Not refilling water or coffee.
  • Soiled or ill-fitting uniforms.

In addition, the list of sins covers things such as:

  • Needing to be center of attention. Give the ego a break!
  • Carelessly placed items on the tables.
  • Rattling pocket change.
  • Having a visible reaction to the amount of the tip.
  • No sense of humor.
  • Addressing the woman as “the lady.” (Times are changing!)

The entire list of 129 can be found in the book, “On the Line,” by Eric Ripert, and in this online story.

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