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Formality at Le Bernardin


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My first visit to Le B was around 10 (if not slightly more) years ago and I found the service very formal. For example, the waiters--all men?-- didn't smile much. Ten years later, I found the room warmer, the staff--still all male waiters?--more welcoming and there was more interaction between diner and waiters. Part of me thinks that I wasn't so confident ten years ago; maybe I felt intimidated and didn't pick up friendliness on the staff's part. Another part suggests that service has become more friendly at the high end over the last decade. Any thoughts?

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We're getting better!

I think you are right...even 6 or 7 years ago, our waiters were a bit cold. It was unconscious on our part, but a fact. In France, the atmosphere in luxury restaurants is often very cold.

We trained our waiters to become friendlier and to interact more with the customers. We constantly work at making the room warmer.

We believe we have great food, a beautiful room and technically very good waiters...now if on top of this, if they were also friendly (but not too much), we will be winners!

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