Out of the Fire and Into the (Service) Frying Pan

IMAG2196It’s never over.  There are only new beginnings.

Mon-Fri for four weeks. There’s a light year of difference between restaurant service lecture and restaurant service.  Out of the fire and into the frying pan.  Literally.  So goes the second term of baking and pastry management at the Oregon Culinary Institute.

Learning restaurant management or hotel management or bakery management is through direct experience.  In uniform.  Apron on.  Order pad, pens.  Real customers in the OCI dining room.

Know the guest greeting protocol.  Memorize table numbers, IMAG2197seating positions.  Assume control and management of the table. Memorize the OCI pre fixe menu.  Appetizers.  Salads.  Entrees.  Desserts.

Know and memorize wine, beer, sparkling wine, soda selection tasting notes and be able to discuss and sell.

Learn restaurant language and acronyms for menu items. Respond immediately to the expo (expediter’s) call for hands to serve guests.

IMAG2199 Identify allergens in each dish: gluten, raw or all dairy, nut, shellfish, bulb family.  The guest’s health and well-being depend upon knowledge and accuracy.

Be able to describe the origin and preparation of accompaniments, sides, sauces to enhance the guest experience. As the menu rotates, taste and evaluate each menu dish to discuss the preparation and nuances.  Every dish is scratch.  Only line-caught fish.  Emphasis on the highest quality, locally grown produce.

Closing work.  Polish all flatware, water and wine glasses.  Prepare flatware roll-ups. Preset dining room for lunch.  Refill all bar drinks…wine, beer, bottled drinks… to par.

The constant ebb and flow of activity and communication. It’s never over.  There are only new beginnings.

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