5 October, 2012on
Tip your waiter, please
The restaurant scene in Manila tends to shadow (not always in a positive way) the American experience – specifically, our growing obsession with the idea of the ‘Celebrity Chef’. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Any marketing expert will tell you, it is important to put a face on your brand (i.e. a restaurant, ready-to-eat food product, cookbook or television show). Personalizing the brand makes it more relatable and even appealing to all the food obsessed consumers. In the end, a chef’s passion still has to pay the bills.
The downside of all this attention on ‘The Chef’, we tend to take for granted that the delectable dish which you are about to sit down and savor is a product of a team – a very hardworking, disciplined and often, underpaid team of restaurant professionals.
Please don’t misunderstand.
I have a deep, deep respect for chefs. I truly admire those chefs who have ‘made their bones’: working their way up the brigade, improving their craft along the way and more importantly, working their own kitchen lines – day in, day out. These are the type of ‘blue collar’ chefs who have a true understanding of what essentially is a trade craft and are able elevated it into making delicious works of consumable art.
But like I said we forget. While chefs get credit for their beautiful creations on the plate by diners and the media alike, we overlook the ‘grunts’ working hard behind the scenes in both the kitchen and the front of the house. They are not looking to be noticed. They are just trying to get through service and to do their jobs without any perceptible error. The goal is simple – to make sure that each guest has an exceptional dining experience… or at the very least, an edible and stress-free meal. And at the end of the week, get paid.
It’s not all about the money.
At the very core, every person in the hospitality industry is both a people pleaser and an entertainer. Cooks like having plates returned to kitchen eaten clean. Servers like seeing guests stepping away from their tables, looking blissfully satisfied. At the end of service, these disciplined, detail-oriented professionals just want to make you happy.
Yes, there is a service charge on your bill. You may think that ten percent is sufficient. But really, it’s not.
So next time you dine out, tip your waiter…and please be generous.
Much thanks to At Maculangan for the photos