When I was still a chef, I never would have admitted this, but I’m convinced of this now: I can forgive an overcooked steak, but I can’t forgive rude or inattentive service. I believe that, while food is subjective, true hospitality is objective. To quote the great Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

I often refer to Augustus Escoffier’s great quote when asked in the early 1900’s, “What does it take to be successful in the restaurant industry?” His reply was “Look at me, smile at me, talk to me, thank me.” Escoffier is the greatest chef who ever lived, the original chef of the Ritz Carlton in Paris, the man who created the modern brigade system that most restaurant kitchens currently use, and a chef whose books are still on the curriculum of every culinary school in the world. This incredible chef, when asked what it takes to be successful in the restaurant business, didn’t say anything about the food, décor, music, lighting or any other element that goes into creating the modern restaurant experience. He believed, way back then, what I am convinced of today—to make a restaurant successful, you need to look at me, smile at me, talk to me, thank me.


  1. Please make sure you let your staff know that I was very happy with the service they gave me and they are all an asset to your firm. You have a great bunch of pepole working for you.

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