Yesterday I bar hopped after a long run. Not usually going to work on my days off, I stopped in to see a busy happy hour and three teammates sitting at the Bar, enjoying their day off and the weather. I asked to join them and ordered a Grappa Mule, and very quickly the convo turned to backstories and restaurant theory. It made my day because before I ran out of there, they invited me to a study group they were putting together. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest that others still believe, and desire to work in a Restaurant that is an Educational Institute.
In Arlington, VA. For nearly 2 years, some “soon to be” giant restaurant success stories let us in on a secret, every day, for 30-45 minutes before evening service. These secrets are the bottles your wine directors never allow you to taste, the Wine and Spirits Reps who were encouraged to build relationships with the entire team, not just one person, the kitchen that would send out a dish on the menu to taste almost daily. Everyone on the FOH team would then go around in a circle suggesting wine, beer, a cocktail that would pair, and why? We would even practice mock service, and give presentations to educate our peers further on the menu we served. These circles of taste were what inspired most of us to come in and take our jobs fucking seriously, always.
Everyone from that team is either still there or gone on to some of the top levels and honors of the Food and Beverage world. Is this just coincidental? No Restaurant Manual I’ve ever read, covers this section. The need for the Educational Institute transcends the manual that only rates a restaurants success by Ratios.
Simply, I rather use a restaurant to build a network, and thats exactly what I just got invited to at my job. Can’t wait.