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Michelin 2007


tony h
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Nikkib - as for their menu knowledge I can't say, although it haw never been a problem when I have been.  I know that the day Tony went they should have known and been excited about it, but you know what - a lot of restaurant staff don;t give a monkeys unless it will benefit them directly through an increase in wages.  One of the hardest things in this business is getting staff to really buy-in to the restaurant to the extent where they see it as more than just any old job and start to care about the business itself.  And it is well documented that Arbutus has struggled with retaining their waiting staff.

I know it is a shame when floor staff don't "buy in" to the restaurant and understand it is difficult (and frustrating) when the chefs passion is not reflected front of house, this is why I think that news like Michelin is so important to try to enthuse them with the fact that they have all been recognised and rewarded for their hard work not just the chefs - even when it gets down to money - buy them all a beer, thank them for their hard work and remind them that this type of recognitition will, if they work on it see the restaurant get busier and busier and this will be reflected in their salary/tips. In fairness i haven't eaten at Arbutus yet, so will reserve judgement until then - Even if the floor staff don't see it as that big a deal, i would like to congratulate them all and look forward to eating there soon

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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I don't disagree at all Nikkib - I think gendering the right kind of atmosphere and level of pride in the place of work is paramount - that is what helps you through the hard times and creates loyalty. For all that people say against Ramsay, largely due to the caricature that has been portrayed in the press (at his will I am sure), he has always celebrated success with his staff and looked after them, and that is why so many of them have been with him for so long.

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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But surely if the staff don't care, then it isn't the sort of place that should get within a whisker of a Michelin as the atmosphere and service standards would presumably be lower?

Though I suppose one can be professional without being passionate. But I always feel the passion levels for the staff are what really marks out a v.good place from just a good, professional, one.

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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But surely if the staff don't care, then it isn't the sort of place that should get within a whisker of a Michelin as the atmosphere and service standards would presumably be lower?

Though I suppose one can be professional without being passionate. But I always feel the passion levels for the staff are what really marks out a v.good place from just a good, professional, one.

exactly

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Longridge yo-yos down again. (deserved? undeserved?)

Paul Heathcote must be right f*cked off...

As Heathcote is planning three or four openings of his 'Olive Press' concept (a down-market chain Italian) in the next six months, I doubt a) he cares and b) he's even noticed.

A review of food hygiene standards at The Olive Press can be found here

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/new...victimised.html

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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you know what - a lot of restaurant staff don;t give a monkeys unless it will benefit them directly through an increase in wages.

This is very true. To an overworked staff, an important award like this just means yet more work.

Well if they dont want to be there there in the wrong trade!!!!!so leave

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I don't disagree at all Nikkib - I think gendering the right kind of atmosphere and level of pride in the place of work is paramount - that is what helps you through the hard times and creates loyalty.  For all that people say against Ramsay, largely due to the caricature that has been portrayed in the press (at his will I am sure), he has always celebrated success with his staff and looked after them, and that is why so many of them have been with him for so long.

Totally agree Ravelda, just look at aubergene when everybody walked with him, thats loyalty and the people that were with him then, where they are now, Neil Ferguson, Mark Askew Angela, Sarge

When you get to a level at a restaurant the staff need to be there for the right reasons, not just people wanting to earn a bit of extra cash

I use to work at royal hospital road when he only had that restaurant and the staff loyalty was phenominal, he was there every day then and did most service, he d be in in the morning and shake everybodies hand ask you how you were etc, he cared, i m not taking anything away from him but i believe its a very different story now for obvious reasons, Tv

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But surely if the staff don't care, then it isn't the sort of place that should get within a whisker of a Michelin as the atmosphere and service standards would presumably be lower?

Though I suppose one can be professional without being passionate. But I always feel the passion levels for the staff are what really marks out a v.good place from just a good, professional, one.

i ll re iterate what i said when you get to a level you need to have staff there who want to be there and for the right reasons, not part timers or students wanting to earn extra money, you need people who want to make a career out of it, so as you rightly say if you not got those people you going to have problems bertie

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QUOTE(BertieWooster @ Jan 25 2007, 05:46 AM)

But surely if the staff don't care, then it isn't the sort of place that should get within a whisker of a Michelin as the atmosphere and service standards would presumably be lower?

Though I suppose one can be professional without being passionate. But I always feel the passion levels for the staff are what really marks out a v.good place from just a good, professional, one.

i ll re iterate what i said when you get to a level you need to have staff there who want to be there and for the right reasons, not part timers or students wanting to earn extra money, you need people who want to make a career out of it, so as you rightly say if you not got those people you going to have problems bertie

I completely agree - sadly a lot of restauranteurs don't seem to realise that choosing the best staff, paying them well and treating them with respect costs less in the long run a they don't take fake sick days, they want to work hard and therefore give customers a better experience, and they stay, thereby reducing the cost of finding and training new staff.

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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As with any other form of employment, "you pay peanuts you get monkeys", waiting staff are not exactly the highest paid people around and no-one is really serious about making a career of it. And why should you get excited when your already wealthy boss gets another award? None of the stars or bibs adds to your pay packet. That's why students "wanting to earn a bit of extra cash" are as good as it's going to get until pay improves.

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As with any other form of employment, "you pay peanuts you get monkeys", waiting staff are not exactly the highest paid people around and no-one is really serious about making a career of it. And why should you get excited when your already wealthy boss gets another award? None of the stars or bibs adds to your pay packet. That's why students "wanting to earn a bit of extra cash" are as good as it's going to get until pay improves.

I find that quite ridiculous, course people are serious about it everyone has to start some where where do think the restaurant managers of today at the 12 and 3 star places started?

They didnt just become a 3 star restaurant manager, of course you get excited when you get awards, your part of that team, i ve been in teams and i ve had teams that have won awards and believe me i got excited when i was part of a team that won a star and also when i won a star as head chef, Also not all bosses are wealthy and something very important a michelin star does not neccerssarrily mean a successful business!!!!!!

How do you think people get to be the boss who wins the awards,which they can only do with a core of staff who want the same thing, again you gotta start somewhere, i can only imagine you have never worked or ever had an insight into restaurants, which seems a bit strange as we are on a restaurant forum martin wa

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QUOTE(BertieWooster @ Jan 25 2007, 05:46 AM)

But surely if the staff don't care, then it isn't the sort of place that should get within a whisker of a Michelin as the atmosphere and service standards would presumably be lower?

Though I suppose one can be professional without being passionate. But I always feel the passion levels for the staff are what really marks out a v.good place from just a good, professional, one.

i ll re iterate what i said when you get to a level you need to have staff there who want to be there and for the right reasons, not part timers or students wanting to earn extra money, you need people who want to make a career out of it, so as you rightly say if you not got those people you going to have problems bertie

Its amazing what a thankyou, a beer and a bit of respect does Ravelda

I completely agree - sadly a lot of restauranteurs don't seem to realise that choosing the best staff, paying them well and treating them with respect costs less in the long run a they don't take fake sick days, they want to work hard and therefore give customers a better experience, and they stay, thereby reducing the cost of finding and training new staff.

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As with any other form of employment, "you pay peanuts you get monkeys",

That's usually the cue to revive one of my favourite themes ...

Anyone know how the tips are divided up in the restaurants we've criticised? Does Galvin use a tronk? Does the entire Arbutus "optional" service charge go to the staff? And if so, which staff? Surely none of the places on the Mich list would use the tip pot to top up basic pay to the minimum statutory requirement? Would they?

"Who gets the tip?" is an under-asked question, but a pretty damn important one nevertheless. As, in my opinion, anyone toiling for below minimum wage should be seen as providing an acceptable level of service simply by choosing not to dunk their wang in the gravy.

Edited by naebody (log)
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This is very true. To an overworked staff, an important award like this just means yet more work.

Well if they dont want to be there there in the wrong trade!!!!!so leave

I don't think that London is exactly brimming with opportunities for east-european immigrants.

Anyway, competent waiting staff are rarer are much rarer than competent kitchen staff. Young chefs are saturated with role-models that justify the absurdly long hours and pitiful wages. They have their eye on the main prize and for a few years are kept going by the thought of becoming the next Jamie, Gordon or Heston. You can't say the same for waiters; it must be thankless task, and one that very few would choose to do were there other options available. I'm sure that if you, Simon, lost your sense of smell and taste in a freak accident, you wouldn't slip contentedly front of house.

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As, in my opinion, anyone toiling for below minimum wage should be seen as providing an acceptable level of service simply by choosing not to dunk their wang in the gravy.

couldn't agree more (seriously), but how do you assure yourself of the total absence of gravy-dunked wangs before leaving the tip?

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The great thing about restaurants/pub/eateries is that, as long as the establishment is generally sound, which is demonstrated in a number of ways - how succesful it is, atmospher, reviews etc - then anyone choosing to work there, whether it be for a short term fix or long term career, will be drawn into the general conviviality that goes with such places. It is the same in any job as in any walk of life. If he culture at the top breeds a general sense of well being, this should filter down. Everyone knows what is expected of them and for what purpose. It is all a means to an end and everyone is to gain if every cog turns. Those that don't believe they will gain finacially should move on if financial gain is all they are after. If they are working for an amount that does not sustain them, they should not start there in the first place. But when they are there, they should give everything that is asked of them. If they have no clear direction, are not trained or informed then their impact on the customer will be limited. Of course there will be rotten apples who slip through but it should not rot the barrel.

Which brings be on to Michelin. This forum seems to get carried away with who has been awarded stars or bibs when this only represents 5% of entries. I eat regularlly in non-starred, non-Michelin included places and feel they superceed Michelin entries. Have Michelin been there? When did they go? Can one individual assessing a premises on a cold January Monday lunchtime evaluate what this establishment might be like on a busy Saturday night in June? Sure they go to the starred places regularlly to ensure they are getting it right but I doubt a place will perform in the same way on Monday in January as they do on a Saturday in June? Why are some new places awarded so quickly....where is the proven consistency.

I ate in a place today that gave my wife and I a small cup of delicious soup while we waited for my roast Partridge and braised lamb. It was not the sort of place that sent freebies or amuse bouche and I did not see anyone else recieve this. When I asked the waiter what it was for he said the chef/propietor had sent it to help our wine (a big red) go down while we waited. No ceremony, no fuss and no Michelin.... just a sense that something was needed for the 25 minute wait.

In my view, Michelin in England is overratted. Places with 1 star in Italy and France are better than English 2 or 3 stars. We're getting better but we are not there yet.

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In my view, Michelin in England is overratted. Places with 1 star in Italy and France are better than English 2 or 3 stars. We're getting better but we are not there yet.

that's a fairly controversial view, especially seeing as how well documented the erratic nature of italian "starred" restaurants is.

were there any in particular you were thinking of?

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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In my view, Michelin in England is overratted. Places with 1 star in Italy and France are better than English 2 or 3 stars. We're getting better but we are not there yet.

that's a fairly controversial view, especially seeing as how well documented the erratic nature of italian "starred" restaurants is.

were there any in particular you were thinking of?

Totally agree scott, when there is a lot of people that would say its easier to get a star in france with rustic french regional cooking!

I think michlin is going to be one nobody can ever understand totally!!

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Just to add a real life situation to give some weight to the discussion we pay all the front of house staff £30 per shift for an 8 hour shift and the TOTAL service charge from the evening is divided by the FoH staff.

Since we opened the average wage for FoH staff is working out around £300-350 per week which is equivalent of £17k a year. Compare this to a restaurant (as many do in London) paying their staff £5.50 per hour and i think we offer our FoH a good deal. Add to this a good training scheme (all our staff have now had first aid training and basic wine training) and it really isnt that hard to attract good quality staff who want to stick around and work with you

All the kitchen is on salary as is FoH manager but all waiters are on the service charge scheme

From what i can tell this is a fairly common setup in restaurants - when we were setting up i checked with a number of good, reputable places that will remain nameless who all operated the same system

There is an interesting discussion here as to the use of a service charge:

The wage bill for a restaurant aims to be around 35% of sales, food is 30% and overheads anwhere between 10-20% - leaving 15-25% profit

I cant speak for other restaurants but for me the wages WITHOUT service charge is 35% which basically means i've hired as many staff as i can for the money - the idea being that as a customer you will get better service

If service charge didnt exist in the UK then basically the prices would have to go up or the number of staff would have to go down

<a href='http://www.bacchus-restaurant.co.uk' target='_blank'>www.bacchus-restaurant.co.uk</a>

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Very open of you Pip

I pay all my staff an hourly rate plus an equal share of tips (not a service charge)

I,m very small, but i think sharing tips between kitchen and FOH really helps teamwork, and there is less "them and us"mentality.

For your waiter to earn £350, how many hours does he do? Tell me to bogg off if you like :biggrin:

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Just to add a real life situation to give some weight to the discussion we pay all the front of house staff £30 per shift for an 8 hour shift and the TOTAL service charge from the evening is divided by the FoH staff. 

How do you get past the minimum wage on that one? That's £4 an hour officially, as potentially you could have no bookings on a shift

Since we opened the average wage for FoH staff is working out around £300-350 per week which is equivalent of £17k a year.

Indeed, but surely you're breaking the law, and any employee who left in high or low dudgeon would have a very good tribunal case. Sorry, I'm probably missing something here...

From what i can tell this is a fairly common setup in restaurants - when we were setting up i checked with a number of good, reputable places that will remain nameless who all operated the same system

Course, in NYC and the US generally many places don't pay the waiting staff at all, bt the tipping culture is greater there (and many of the staff are non-green carded immigrants from weird places like England)

The wage bill for a restaurant aims to be around 35% of sales, food is 30% and overheads anwhere between 10-20% - leaving 15-25% profit

We aim at about 25% of sales for wages, but its a massively different operation of course.

How far up does the sharing of tips go? Presumably the Chef is on profit-related bonus rather than tip-sharing...

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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