The Difference

The other day I got hooked on the difference when someone ordered the shrimp and strawberry salad, and sent it back because the shrimp was cold curried (as it said on the menu) and not hot grilled. Not a lot different from the woman who ordered the pork stack and thought it was to be pulled pork, but enough to make me notice.

Today I had a woman who wanted the shrimp Caesar without the Caesar … actually she wanted grilled shrimp on hot wilted spinach. I made it and Sonia made up a price. In the center of the plate, I put the hot wilted spinach with four grilled shrimps on top. For color, I added halved cherry tomatoes, roasted corn salsa and guac at the corners. Nice plate.

We don’t quibble much about what the customer wants. It’s a hotel, $200 a night. We want the customer back, with her/his friends and family. If it’s way off the menu, we make up a price. No big deal. And … we like to cook for people who like to eat.

The difference is that we don’t turn tables. I’ve seen groups of people in Berries sitting for breakfast and going til dinner. I saw a woman interview six men. She was at a table with one possible. The rest waited in the lobby. Each interview took about an hour and she had mostly coffee and croissants.

Fine. She will come back. Maybe they will come back. That we don’t worry about turning the tables reminds me of cafes in Paris. It is business, it’s just not linear.

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