You are going to read a magazine article in which a famous chef talks about
the importance of good service in restaurants. Choose the most suitable heading
from the list A-I for each part (1-7) of the article. There is one extra heading
you do not need to use. There is an example at the beginning. (0).
In the actual exam you must mark your answers on the separate answer sheet
A A central figure B A policy for the times C Seen but not heard D A fairer system E Playing the right part F Time well spent G A strong sense of involvement H The deciding factor I All-round improvement
What Makes A
We all expect good food when we eat out. Famous
French chef Andre La Pin talks about what other factors are important.
Last week, I went into a restaurant near my home where I have eaten
a few times over the years. It used to have an old-fashioned
traditional style, but it has just re-opened after being completely
renovated. The new surroundings seem to have given a lift to
everything, from the food cooked by a new chef from Brittany in
France, to the atmosphere and the quality of the service.
But we are talking about modern, unstuffy service, which is not four
waiters hovering around your table making you nervous, but a relaxed
presence, giving you the feeling there is someone there and
providing help and advice when you need it. There is a fine
distinction between a server and a servant, and this is what the
best waiter has learnt to appreciate.
Many hours of behind-the-scenes work must have gone into getting the
service so good. The staff were very pleasant and the speed with
which they reacted to customers' needs was excellent. When someone
sneezed, a box of tissues appeared. I have never seen that before in
a restaurant. The preparation has certainly paid off.
Although they have to be commercial, the most popular restaurants
aim to provide the kind of reception, comfort and consideration you
would give to someone coming for a dinner party at your home.
Service is not about the correctness of knives and forks and glasses
- people really don't care about those things any more -nowadays it
is about putting people at their ease.
Twenty years ago when people went out to restaurants, they probably
never set eyes on the chef - probably didn't even know his name. But
the person they did know was the head waiter. He was the important
one, the person who could get you the best table, who could impress
your friends by recognizing you when you arrived.
What's more, waiting staff need to have a stake in the success of
the enterprise. I realized that when I opened my own restaurant. The
staff, chefs and waiters did all the decorating and the flowers
themselves and it worked well because the right atmosphere had been
created by people who cared.
Things have changed, but I think what is going to happen with so
many good new restaurants opening these days is that the waiters are
going to become very important again. The level of service is what
is going to distinguish one restaurant from another.
Above all, the waiting staff should be consistent, which is why I
have always preferred the custom of putting an optional service
charge on the bill, rather than relying on discretionary tips, so
that all the staff feel valued. I don't like the kind of situation
where there is competition going on, with one star waiter trying to
outshine the rest. That affects the quality of the service as a
to add new words to your vocabulary lists!
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