Author Archive

Restaurant Servers Classification

WHO checks the Dress & Hygiene of Restaurant Employees

WHO Checks the Dress and Hygiene of the Restaurant Employees? Where are the Owners or Managers, when they do a line up before serves.  Why do I say this!  When I went to a local restaurant and had to wait a very long… time for the waiter showed up. (Which is normal, some waiter can’t handle the 4 tables they are assigned to per shift.)  Once he arrived, we noticed that the waiter look more like a homeless person than a waiter. Pants were SO Wrinkled.. that a dress to cover the pants would have been better. The shirt was not any better. Cuffs so Brown it would made you sick, the rest was worse nail and hand were disgusting. (and yes he is serving food)  We knew that we didn’t want this waiter to serve us, but we also like the food at this restaurant. But for this one time we were not going to eat there.  Yes, we found a way out, we faked a sudden illness and excused yourself.  Maybe, that is why I have been spending more money and eating a Very High-End Restaurants to get the fabulous food and great service, and know the staff has clean press uniform with hygiene clean to match.  I will not tell you the name of the restaurant because so many foodies will say I was wrong and the servers are clean and friendly.  I wish some of these foodies would pay more attention, to look at the servers and maybe the restrooms to see if it really rates that high. Trust me, I know what I speak of.

YELP & ZAGAT Reviews May Not Be Genuine

YELP & ZAGAT Reviews May Not Be Genuine

I distrust many YELP and ZAGAT reviews.  You may think this is a strange comment coming from a restauranteur who appreciates comments from his clients.  While some customer comments are genuine, many comments are contrived.  For example, you will see YELP ratings ranging from 0 to 5 stars for a particular restaurant.  But, who gave the 5 stars?  If you read the reviews carefully and understand the restaurant business, you will notice that some of the 5 star ratings give too many details, that only an owner, manager, or employee would know.  So, why would they write the review posing as a customer and give the restaurant a high rating?  To get you into the restaurant and make you spend your hard earned money.  The opposite occurs with a restaurant’s competitors…they post unfounded, malicious comments to discourage customers from patronizing the establishment.

To get an accurate assessment I read the reviews and disregard the most extreme.  This takes time, sometimes more than I have..which is why I prefer Michelin’s reviews.  The inspectors are objective; they check the food, service, and ambience, including the restrooms.  Michelin rates casual restaurants (check out the fork ratings), as well as the high ends (generally the “star” ratings). An exception is the cafetería-type restaurant in Hong Kong’s (more like Kowloon)Tim Ho Wan (the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant with bare tables!)

Is Blaming Restaurant Failures on the Economy a Red Herring?

Sacramento area restaurant failures are not due to the ECONOMY. If it was the Economy, Restaurants  like the French Laundry, Biba or Cafe Marika would be closed by NOW.  During many years of discussions over coffee or drinks, a dear friend and I (with over 70 years combined experience in the restaurant business) predicted over 25 eventual Restaurant Failures. The last being Good Eats and before that, Spin Burger, 33rd St. Bistro on 16th and K St.’s, Table 260, 55 Degrees, and my oldest prediction was Koya’s in the Pavilions. These failures were blamed on “The Economy”. Rather, maybe the failures were because of something they had much more control over. Maybe the owners didn’t understand the Restaurant Industry. It’s called the Hospitality Industry for a reason. Restaurants are supposed to treat their customers like dinner guests at home. They should be concerned about the guests’ happiness and enjoyment of the evening. That’s what Biba and the other successful restaurants do.

Most new restaurants don’t hire Hosts; they hire managers. Managers manage the books rather than the dining room. If the managers think the waiters/servers are taking care of the guests they are likely wrong…especially when hiring untrained staff with no or little knowledge of manners and etiquette. Being a consummate Host or Hostess will get you a following of loving customers.

Restaurant failures don’t need to happen

KOYA’S (My First)

55 DEGREES (The longest)  prediction

33rd St. BISTRO on K St.  (Too small, bad restaurant design)

SPIN BURGER (That’s What you call a Burger)

MELTING POT (Roseville)


CORNER BAR (Not long enough to remember)

CLARK’S CORNER (?????No ideal yet!)

CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN (Downtown) (wrong type of restaurant at that location)

CALIFORNIA CAFE (This one was a long one)

TABLE 260 (???)  (Talked to the owner he not have clue)

FOG MOUNTAIN (Nothing different about the menu, just like everyone else’s)

These are some of the Restaurant I have predicted would fail in a predicted period of time.

Who couldn’t tell that these and many other restaurants would not fail.  If not, I did, I saw things in the operation to show future signs of failure.  I have met and and talked to some of these owners, and offered to help, but like many Restaurant Owners and Managements  they refuse the offer.  I have found that most restauranteurs are afraid of a few things. One, They don’t have the knowledge to open a restaurant. Two, That they don’t want anyone to know their problems or what’s happening in the restaurant. Three, They refuse to ask for help. Four, They hired the wrong people  (untrained or think they are professional waiter or other positions) and are afraid to fire them. Five, they don’t understanding the meaning of hospitality. “Do they have the right person or a person right now” that’s what they should be asking themselves


Is BIBA’S expensive and overrated ?

You need to have these Manners to Achieve Great Success

(If you did not learn these, growing-up you, it is still not to late.)

25 Manners Every Kid Should Know by Age 9

Manner #1

When asking for something, say ”Please.”

Manner # 2

When receiving something, say  ”Thank You.”

Related Note: Kids-Made Thank You Notes

Manner # 3

Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with other unless there is an emergency. They will notice to you and respond when they are finished talking.

Manner # 4

If you do not get somebody’s attention right away, the phrase  ”Excuse Me” is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.

Manner # 5

When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It may save you from many hours of grief later.

Manner # 6

The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults.

Manner # 7

Do not comment on other people’s physical characteristics unless, of course, it’s to compliment them, which is always welcome.

Related Note: Raise Polite Kids

Common Sense “What all True waiters should have”

This is something that Scott from Biba’s sent me. I thought maybe this can help many present and future waiters.

We don’t know who the author is, but Thank You.

An Obituary printed in the London Times

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years.  No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.  He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

-Knowing when to come in out of the rain;

-Why the early bird gets the worm;

-Life isn’t always fair;

-and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

SERVICE: It’s like one leg of a three legged stool, You need all three legs, Food, Ambience, Service.

“Service” is the only thing that is stopping Sacramento from becoming a top culinary center like Napa or San Francisco, or Portland.

Yes, I did say Portland.

We don’t train the staff long enough or correctly here in Sacramento.

Let me give you will give you some examples.

How about

When a new waitress comes up to a bartender and asks him that a “gentleman wants something on the rocks” and she “Asked what are rocks.


When you go into a bar and see your favorite gin and then asked the bartender that you want a martini made from it. And, she tells you that they don’t carry that gin, but you see it on the shelf. And then you argue with her until, you point out to her that gin that is on the shelf.



Then the same a bartender gets the bottle down and asked the other bartender “How to make a martini.”


When the waiter brings out dishes of food and asks, “Who gets what”?


When waits staff addresses a group of ladies “Guys“?


PUTAH CREEK CAFE: 3 Star or country cafe it’s still the same


#1 Main Street

Winters, California  95694

530 795 2682

Mon-Fri 6:00- 2:30

Sat-Sun 6:00-3:00

Thurs-Sat 5:00-9:00

19 % Tip

Winters is a small farming community, west of Davis. You would expect a home-style reception at the restaurant and that’s what customers get. I also experienced attentiveness, care, listening, and remembering the customer wants and needs by the waitresses, bussers, and hostesses. This restaurant puts out good breakfasts, wonderful service, and is highly recommended. Putah Creek Cafe also serves lunch and dinner, which I still want to try.