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Neil Perry vs. Jordan Baker
10 January, 2009, 12:26 am
Filed under: Food, Online news, Sydney

So an observant journalist meets an experienced restauranter

I’ll summarize the spat for you. So Jordan Baker says that restaurants are too proud and arrogant that they don’t do bookings and they ‘build-in’ tips for most large group bookings. Neil Perry argues that restaurants earn very little and try their best to stay afloat.

There’s no question about it, I side with Perry.

Restaurants (even good ones) employ people; waiters and waitresses, cleaning hands, chefs, sous chefs, maitre d’s and barmen/women. Its a BIG team effort, its a BIG deal. Its not all about food and wine and laughter and service and customers who are always right. To me, its simple business. They give us food which standards we expect, we pay them. The service, the timing, the ambience, the availability are all secondary. If you do not have enough seats, we can always go somewhere else; no dramas.

The thing is people who work at restaurants are human beings. Just like you and me. Nothing more, nothing less. They have family problems, like we do, they ponder about the world and the meaning of life, like we do. They watch TV, they read the same newspaper and they board the same buses, drive the same roads and ride the same trains as we do. And when they become restauranters, it suddenly all changes?

They are supposed to worship the ground we walk on; earn peanuts but give their soul to serving you; withstand the torturing heat of the kitchen just so you get your food on time and smile politely when you ask for tomato sauce on your [insert name of expensive dish here]? No human deserves this; no matter how much (or little) you pay. Granted the food and beverage industry is there and it exists but the least you could do is smile and try to understand what restauranters go through; not lambast your way and complain mindlessly about not getting a seat.

Maybe its the culture I was exposed to when I was growing up. Eating out is honestly no big deal. You go out, you eat. If the food’s not good, you don’t go back. If its good, you return. Service is irrelevant. There are no emotions involved. Fully booked? No worries, there are always other restaurants.

But I kind of hear what Baker is saying too. Say you want to impress your friend from overseas with this famous restaurant or you want to celebrate a birthday; what happens when you get turned away? I guess that’s the only letdown that can be suffered by the customer. But other than that, I see no reason for Baker to complain about this. If you want a confirmed seat in a non-booking restaurant, go early. If you want to save money on tips, eat at home.

Go Neil Perry!

God bless!

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

πŸ™‚ i’m just reminded that it’s a blessing to be able to eat out..

Comment by esthery

mmm now you remind me that indeed its a blessing! πŸ˜€

Comment by K.Lo

hehe

Comment by esthery




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