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Proper timing between courses


TAPrice
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Before I tell you how we do the courses where I work, please take into account that the restaurant is located in an up-scale outdoor mall (mall is such an ugly word for this shopping area, it really is tasteful).

Clock next to printer, sharpie in hand, here it is:

Table orders no apps at all, just and entree = 10 minutes until fire

Two courses = Order fire first, 7-10 minutes until 2nd course fire (depending on

how busy it is, shorter times when it is busier)

Three or more = Same as above, but most definitely 7 minutes in between

Bar order = Longest cooktime sets the pace, usually the saute station yells to the

mid or the expo to fire to everyone else (it is not unusual for the bar

orders to have more than one course, people like the bar)

And that's how it goes, it may seem like we push people, but we leave it up to servers to tell us about their tables and it isn't a problem to hold back fires for the

table campers.

Where is my plate wipe and who the hell cut this garnish?!

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The proper timing between a course should be about seven minutes. This gives ample time for the staff to clear plates, refill wine and H2O, reset silver, crumb, etc. This gives the guest time for a restroom break, fixing makeup. conversing about the previous course or smoking (where applicable.)

Ryan Jaronik

Executive Chef

Monkey Town

NYC

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hmmm. interesting question. I suppose it depends on the size of the course also...

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ‐ Salvador Dali

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I don't think there is a clear cut answer for the proper timing between courses - too many variables. If it's very busy and a restaurant needs to turn tables or feed a pre-theater crowd, then obviously times between courses is shorter. If reservations are well-spaced out and customers are not in a hurry, then a few extra minutes between courses is nice for some diners.

Now I'll be honest and say that I do not have lots of FOH experience (I've been stuck in the kitchen). However, I will venture to say that I believe the proper timing is best determined by the server on a table-by-table basis. Well-trained servers should be able to send fire tickets and pace each meal based upon what they think is the proper timing for each table, all variables considered. After all, table 12 might be trying to catch a movie, while table 13 wants a nice, long, romantic dinner.

And if a server anticipates that a table is significantly slower or quicker than the average pace at that particular restaurant, he/she should communicate that to the kitchen ASAP.

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I don't think there is a clear cut answer for the proper timing between courses - too many variables.  If it's very busy and a restaurant needs to turn tables or feed a pre-theater crowd, then obviously times between courses is shorter.  If reservations are well-spaced out and customers are not in a hurry, then a few extra minutes between courses is nice for some diners.

Now I'll be honest and say that I do not have lots of FOH experience (I've been stuck in the kitchen).  However, I will venture to say that I believe the proper timing is best determined by the server on a table-by-table basis.  Well-trained servers should be able to send fire tickets and pace each meal based upon what they think is the proper timing for each table, all variables considered.  After all, table 12 might be trying to catch a movie, while table 13 wants a nice, long, romantic dinner. 

And if a server anticipates that a table is significantly slower or quicker than the average pace at that particular restaurant, he/she should communicate that to the kitchen ASAP.

I agree with wax 311. Usually i rely on the pace of the diners themselvs and the intuition of a well trained server to let me know when to fire so that there arent any miscues with the table. I have had plenty of foodies lost in conversation & not ready for what is headed there way. Sometimes people want the convience of controlling "their" convience of dining out.

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i totally agree with the notion that an accomplished server can and should read the mood of the table and use that to set the pace. Within reason with respect to business, need to turn tables, etc.

In my experience, we have the too fast problem much more often than the too slow.

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