UnderCover Waitress: Supply and Demand and Service

Friday, March 4, 2011

Supply and Demand and Service

A local restaurant just closed its doors for the last time. Their official reason for going out of business is that there is not enough demand. They could not be more wrong about what separated them from success.

The theme of this restaurant was local, organic food. The area there is dominated by an agricultural community and a well-off college community. Neighbors of the restaurant were excited and supportive.

The food was good; the cooks knew their craft. It wasn't expensive. Many of us who ate there were thrilled to have delicious, local, organic food that was also affordable. It was a treat!

The last time I ate there, I requested utensils with my entree as my fork and knife had been cleared with the appetizer. The college kid waiting on us gave me a haughty look over her shoulder and slowly meandered back into the kitchen area. I swiped a set of utensils off of an empty table. It's a good thing I did; if I hadn't I would still be sitting there staring at a plate of stone-cold food. This was a year ago; I have not been back since.

Unfortunately, this one anecdote is indicative of the general service in this restaurant, and it proves a point that too many restaurant owners don't hear: service can make or break a restaurant.

A restaurant that serves bad food will not survive. However, the same care, selection and training of chefs and cooks should be applied to waitresses and waiters. Well trained, professional wait staff will keep a restaurant going; unprofessional, sloppy and even obnoxious service will break a restaurant serving good food.

There was plenty of demand for the food this restaurant served. There was no demand for the shoddy service, and now they are closed. 

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