For good reason, Louisville’s restaurant scene has attracted a lot of national attention lately, and at least for Steve Coomes, one of our contributors, the lion’s share of credit for that attention is deserved by the kitchen, not in the front of the house.
Coomes claims Louisville’s best-known chefs correctly have been praised for their outstanding and innovative food, how well their supporting cooks are trained, and how carefully they source and manage ingredients.
He also notes in a recent blog that Louisville’s status as a second-tier restaurant town could be elevated if service here, across the board, was as good as the food.
We have no doubt such statements will raise eyebrows, but we also believe there is some merit to his argument. In the blog, Coomes, who cooked and waited tables before becoming a writer, laid out some basic expectations he thinks many, but not all, restaurant servers fall short on:
• Menu knowledge: Too few know enough about the food they’re selling.
• Bar knowledge: Same here; they don’t have to know everything about the bar, but they should know every choice and be able to make good suggestions.
• Effort and self-training: Servers should memorize specials since it only takes a few minutes. Reading notes makes servers look like amateurs.
• Know which customer ordered what food. This also is easy to manage if you are well-trained.
What do you think? Is Coomes being too harsh in his criticism of some restaurant servers in Louisville and/or giving too much credit to chefs and cooks?
In case you think Coomes is too hard on service staffs, read the blog and notice there’s plenty of praise for the good ones. He just thinks there should be more of them.
And while you’re at it, if you’d like, tell us your favorite spots for great restaurant service. We’re certain everyone would like to know.