Fine Dining Service/Training Manuals

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Joined Sep 26, 2018
Hi Everyone:

This is a 911 call to the community online.

We are looking for a comprehensive fine dining employee manual. I feel we shouldn't have to re-invent the wheel here. We can adjust it too suit as we move forward, but need a place to start. Looking for something fairly high end, so if you have the Union Square of 11 Madison Park manual send it our way!
In all seriousness, we need a good solid place to start with job descriptions and responsibilities for every position. [email protected]
 
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
A few years back there was an article listing things that Le Bernadin looks for. Something over 100 items. I'm sure you can find that on line. That's a place to start.
If you find an actual manual for front of house table service, please list the title, etc here. I've never seen one outside of culinary school and I'm sure many others here would be interested.
 
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Joined Aug 13, 2018
I want to comment on this partial list. Outside of just a few things listed, this is what I'd expect any restaurant server to do.
If you take the time to read the list, you'll see that almost all of the item listed should be standard operating procedure for any server, anywhere.
Totally agreed!! The problem is that many of these things are overlooked and treated as "common sense." They're not! People need a lot of guidance, and the devil is always in the details. Its at least a good reminder of that.
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
Any such manual would be way too generic to be of any real value. They need to be individualized to each establishment. It is like asking for a fine dining menu saying that you don't need to re-invent the wheel, just as a starting point, you can adjust it as you move forward. I have written several training manuals for different establishments over the years and they are all different because of different staffing, responsibilities, procedures,etc.etc.etc. Will you have captains or front and back waiters or waiters, cocktail servers or no, wine steward or no, food runners or no, what type of order/fire sequence, and on and on the questions go.
 
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Joined May 5, 2010
Any such manual would be way too generic to be of any real value. They need to be individualized to each establishment. It is like asking for a fine dining menu saying that you don't need to re-invent the wheel, just as a starting point, you can adjust it as you move forward. I have written several training manuals for different establishments over the years and they are all different because of different staffing, responsibilities, procedures,etc.etc.etc. Will you have captains or front and back waiters or waiters, cocktail servers or no, wine steward or no, food runners or no, what type of order/fire sequence, and on and on the questions go.

I agree with you cheflayne and like I said when I found this, that outside of a few specific items, even you would have to agree that most of the items listed would and should be as a set standard for service in any place....
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
The Europeans don’t have a training manual for fine dining.

What they do have is:
Standards for cooks ( 3 yr gov’t recognized apprenticeship)
Standards for servers (2 yr gov’t recognized apprenticeship)
Standards for owners ( gov’t recognized course and tests )

Out of the three, probably the most important regarding the “N.American problem” is the restaurant. owner’s license—or lack of it.....
 
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
I can't agree that any manual would be too generic to be of any value. Perhaps it's just the restaurants in my area but I would like to see some form of a manual or certification or training for owners and management so they stop hiring clueless, untrained people and let them work with no training assuming everything is common sense and they will figure it out without guidance.
Service in any place means more than hiring a body and throwing them out into the dining room.
As we've discussed here many times, too many people think they can open a restaurant, then go belly up when they figure out the reality is more than they bargained for. A simple manual, perhaps handed out with the operators' license shouldn't be too difficult. And if not that, then something a potential waitstaff could pick up at the bookstore for less than five bucks that would at least explain the basics. We consider items on Ripert's list to be "standard operating procedure" because we've known about them all for so long. Newbies don't and may not get the message from a poorly trained fellow server who has been left to develop too many bad habits.
My first example would be "Greeting the customer upon arrival". You would think that would be obvious. At least around here, it's a rarity.
 
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Joined May 5, 2010
I can't agree that any manual would be too generic to be of any value. Perhaps it's just the restaurants in my area but I would like to see some form of a manual or certification or training for owners and management so they stop hiring clueless, untrained people and let them work with no training assuming everything is common sense and they will figure it out without guidance.
Service in any place means more than hiring a body and throwing them out into the dining room.
As we've discussed here many times, too many people think they can open a restaurant, then go belly up when they figure out the reality is more than they bargained for. A simple manual, perhaps handed out with the operators' license shouldn't be too difficult. And if not that, then something a potential waitstaff could pick up at the bookstore for less than five bucks that would at least explain the basics. We consider items on Ripert's list to be "standard operating procedure" because we've known about them all for so long. Newbies don't and may not get the message from a poorly trained fellow server who has been left to develop too many bad habits.
My first example would be "Greeting the customer upon arrival". You would think that would be obvious. At least around here, it's a rarity.


Well said and very true.
Our capitalistic society allows us to be free to open whatever business we want and to try to make a living.
True many clueless people get into any business for whatever reason, but it is theirs and their alone.
No government entity can tell them what to do (outside of federal and local laws).
This is the American way.
Europe has those trained people in their fields, yet America does not.
Why?
Because freedom to do your own thing isn't always the best thing.
Suppose we wake up one morning here in America and all restaurant managers, servers and cooks had to be certified.
Think about THAT!!!
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Good points, chefross. Consider this:
When the U.S. dropped the English pound as currency and introduced the dollar, something very intelligent happened- they used a system based on 100 instead of that pathetic English system of 12’s, 8’s, ha’pence, and whatnot. In other words, the U.S. used the very basis of the metric system—units of ten. Yet the U.S.is the only industrialized country Not to use the metric system.

Similarly, the U.S. introduced a gov’t recognized education from gr. 1 to gr.12. which many other countries adopted. The European system of apprenticeships is part of the education system, students are given a choice to take an apprenticeship or go on to higher learning at age 15. The education system assumes responsibility with the testing and qualifications of the various trades. Sadly, for many n. American high school students, high school is a obscene waste of time.

Various f regulate many trades and qualifications for many professions. Thus, if you hire a backyard dip wad mechanic to fix your brakes and you get into an accident and injure someone, not only are you stupid, but but held accountable. This is why we have licensed mechanics.

If you look at regulated trades, they aren’t earning minimum wage. Cooking isn’t regulated, we are earning sh*t . We all have freedom, and currently many are choosing a trade or profession where you can earn a living wage
 
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