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Reservation confirmed but table not ready - how long have you waited?

I couldn't agree more.

Dec 06, 2011
jcgoodwin in Not About Food

Reservation confirmed but table not ready - how long have you waited?

This is always an interesting dilemma for both the diner and the staff. I personally will wait around half an hour if I did not come starving and if I know that the meal is likely to be a good one.

The fun part: the staff perspective.

As a head of house, even on the most well oiled of nights on our floor,
100 seat fine dining $65+ per head, things go wrong.

There will always be that table that is camping out or viewing that contract for the fifth time. I always first take the "lets push em' out approach." Most staff members should have an appropriate grasp of proper technique in order to seamlessly speed up or slow down a meal. If things are getting out of hand, a pre-meal transition to the bar is the only true solution.

The biggest mistake I see from inexperienced servers/hosts is trying to placate the waiting customer with a time or false pretense. You don't tell them the time their table will be ready. Let the customer know that you care and tell them that you appreciate their wait and you hope to have their table ready shortly.

Dec 06, 2011
jcgoodwin in Not About Food

Gluten sensitivity may now affect as many as 1 in 16 Americans

I think its the spectrum issue. People see it all of the time with autism. Simply put, people often overreport their placement on the spectrum. Personally, I have a sensitivity to lactose, but I'm certainly not "lactose intolerant." As far as examining the work of medical professionals, I'm hesitant to say that gluten intolerances are over diagnosed.

Dec 05, 2011
jcgoodwin in Not About Food

Does the Chef or do the Kitchen Staff at Restaurants Drink "On Duty"?

I believe, being a Pre-medical student, that training and intelligence is what makes the difference. Having worked in the business since I was young, I can say that even within fine dining, intelligence is not a common denominator amongst many. I don't mean it as an insult but I believe that many people who work as a server/waitress are more susceptible to the stress than others, be it their life's situation or financial woes.

Dec 05, 2011
jcgoodwin in Not About Food

Coffee refills

I would not consider this typical even within fine dining.

Dec 05, 2011
jcgoodwin in Not About Food

Chipotle: We're Conflicted

I agree with your points at both ends. Chipotle does an excellent job of mass sourcing a better product. I also agree that there is always more to do. Just as a digression, I am continually frazzled by the notion that a taqueria and Chipotle are even close to the same type of food. The same for something like comparing a local dim sum and a P.F. Changs. When did "Americanized" become such a "dirty" way to eat?

Dec 04, 2011
jcgoodwin in Features