"Treat celebrities like locals, and locals like celebrities, because everyone loves to be made to feel special."
Photo by Ralph Daily Waiters are becoming less of a blur and more an actual element in the dining experience.
That's the mantra of Gabriel Stulman, owner of six restaurants in Manhattan and featured speaker at the inaugural Welcome Conference on hospitality held in New York earlier this month. He's just one person trying to revolutionize the notion of front-of-house service in upscale restaurants often more known for their stuffy waitstaff than their welcoming environment.
It's part of a trend toward drawing focus to the important work of managers, servers, bartenders and other waitstaff in addition to the food a restaurant serves. Of course, here in Texas where friendliness is a way of life, it's not so much a trend as a return to a more natural approach to customer service.
"I'm glad it's going this way," says Shawn Virene, general manager at Brasserie 19, often considered one of Houston's more upscale restaurants due to its River Oaks clientele. "It's making dining more fun. Some people just want to be served. Others want an experience."More »