Rules for the Front of the House

November 6, 2009

Bruce Buschel is opening a restaurant in the East End of Long Island, and although he’s never done this before — hey, I can relate — he has a bunch of rules for the front of the house.  Well, he actually has 100 Rules.  The first 50 rules are found here and the second 50 were published here.

Some folks have responded negatively, comparing Buschel to a slavemaster, calling him “Massa Bruce.”  The term “Nazi” has also been used.  However, most of the response has been favorable.  Very favorable.  And I love these rules.  Here are a few of my favorites.

5. Tables should be level without anyone asking. Fix it before guests are seated.

9. Do not recite the specials too fast or robotically or dramatically. It is not a soliloquy. This is not an audition.

32. Never touch a customer. No excuses. Do not do it. Do not brush them, move them, wipe them or dust them.

40. Never say, “Good choice,” implying that other choices are bad.

41. Saying, “No problem” is a problem. It has a tone of insincerity or sarcasm. “My pleasure” or “You’re welcome” will do.

51. If there is a service charge, alert your guests when you present the bill. It’s not a secret or a trick.

62. Do not fill the water glass every two minutes, or after each sip. You’ll make people nervous.

62(a). Do not let a glass sit empty for too long.

78. Do not ask, “Are you still working on that?” Dining is not work — until questions like this are asked.

88. Do not ask if a guest needs change. Just bring the change.

Remember, these are rules for Mr. Beschel’s restaurant, but I think they’re spot on for the most part (although I really think steaming off a wine label is above and beyond the call of duty).  What do you think?


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