Friday, 13 September 2013

Week beginning September 16th - The Art of Peripheral Vision

When I was 21 years old, I moved from an outer suburban pub to a 100 seat cocktail bar adjoining a brand new 300 seat restaurant in the inner suburbs in Melbourne. It was my first real city job. I started as a barman, and the bar manager's name was Eddie. He admitted many years later that he was not that impressed with me on my first few days, but all the same, after a month he had removed his assistant manager and promoted me to the position.

Over the next 5 years in particular, Eddie and I worked together in a number of restaurants and bars, and after travelling to the UK in 1995, when I came back in 98 I managed his own restaurant in Toorak in Melbourne for three years. I proposed to my wife at the closing party we had for the restaurant in front of 150 people and Eddie was a key speaker at our wedding.

Eddie taught me many, many things, and he is and has been a wonderful influence on my life and my hospitality career. We also had a huge, huge amount of fun together.

One very important thing he taught me was all about peripheral vision and the necessity of this quality in Hospitality. That is, the ability to see everything, while focussing on one thing.

- To know that a customer is about to walk in the door while you are serving a table.
- To see a piece of food on the floor (and pick it up)
- To know that a table needs something while you are making coffee for another
- To see the cobweb hanging from the roof while making a drink
- To notice the light bulb gone, or the fork under the table, or the napkin on the seat
(There are so many more, I will leave it up to you)

Effectively, to be able to see things out of the corner of your eye and be able to act upon it, thereby making your service more efficient and the customers experience all that more special.

In a book I highly recommend, Nicholas Lander's 'The Art of the Restauranteur', kindly given to me by two of our favourite customers at Christmas, he interviewed Danny Meyer and noticed that not only Danny, but most of the restaurateurs he interviewed all had this quality. They all sat facing the restaurant area when being interviewed and all of them had this 'roving eye' and were always scanning what was going on.

You could try this yourself. Drop a slice of lemon on the floor in a restaurant and see how long it takes to be noticed by the staff. Then drop a two pound coin.

I recently wrote about the 'one percents' and the effect this has on your business. I also spoke recently to a very intelligent and great coffee person about 1%'s and how quickly they can add up to make for an overall bad experience. I firmly believe, and Eddie taught me this a very long time ago, that the art of peripheral vision, and acting upon it, will greatly reduce these 1%'s, helping you to achieve your goal of 100%.

Ed, this and many others are for you and because of you. Respect and big love.

Please enjoy this weeks menu, as we will enjoy bringing it to you.

Traditional bircher muesli with rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.50
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses and rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.50
Fruit salad (pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passion fruit) 3.70
Ciabatta roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Ciabatta roll with courgette omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach & plum tomatoes 4.90
Seven seed bakery bloomer toast with home made preserves 1.70
Coffee, cherry and walnut toast 2.30
Banana bread 2.40

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissants 1.80
Pain au chocolat 2.40
Almond croissants 2.80

Baked Treats
Sweet Muffins: Blackcurrant and pear 2.40
Savoury Scone: Apple, mature cheddar and dijon 2.40
Blackberry friands 2.40
Super moist chocolate brownies 2.40
White chocolate blondies 2.40
Portuguese tarts 2.00
ANZAC cookies 1.80
Chocolate chip cookies 1.80

French retro baguettes 4.90
Pancetta, avocado, tomato, aioli and rocket
Smoked salmon, lime cream cheese, cucumber, thai basil, spinach

Foccacias 5.00
Roast chicken, salsa verde, brie and rocket
Grilled courgette, red peppers, red onion, feta, olive tepenade, spinach

Salads: 5.50/6.50
Roasted chicken with pickled rainbow radish, blanched common purslane stems, boiled baby potatoes, rocket and jalapeno dressing
Turkish brown figs, profiteroles filled with goats cheese, basil, walnuts and a raspberry vinaigrette
Purple sprouting broccoli with garlic and tansy dressing

Tart: 4.40 or 7.50 with salad
Pumpkin, mustard and gruyere

No comments:

Post a Comment