The Inside Scoop On How Restaurants Work (and Why It Benefits You to Know)


It can be hard to convince yourself otherwise when you’re stuck at a rickety table in no man’s land and just can’t seem to catch your waiter’s eye—but you don’t need to be rich, famous, or some sort of VIP to get preferred treatment in restaurants (at least, not at all of them). You just need to be armed with a few good tricks of the trade. And who better to dish the dirt on the inner-workings of restaurants than Laura Wagstaff and Jeffrey Tascarella, the Special Events Director and General Manager, respectively, of the highly acclaimed The NoMad? In advance of their upcoming panel at Taste Talks, they generously shared some quick, effective tips how you can improve your next night out on the town—at The NoMad or just about anywhere else!

1) Trying to make a reservation at the hot new restaurant? You have two options. One, plan a month in advance to be on the phone at 9am when the restaurant opens their books, or two, be flexible! Show up as a walk-in on the early or later side, and plan to have a drink or two at the bar first; what’s the rush? Enjoy the night out!

2) Most people are pretty good about telling a restaurant that they’ll be celebrating a birthday or an anniversary, but it would be helpful to let us know other stuff, too. Planning on having an important business meeting? Let us know, we’ll try to give you a quiet table and make sure your server keeps his distance. Bringing your picky child? Let us know, we’ll figure out some options for your kiddo. Not every restaurant has a stock of chicken fingers at the ready. Maybe you’re trying to impress your girlfriend’s parents upon your first meeting? Let us know that, too! We’ll make you look like a rock star. Promise.

3) Unhappy with your food? Your table? Your server? Your wine? Let us know! We want to make it right. We want to turn things around and have you leave a happy; please don’t harbor your anger and take it out on Yelp. We’ll fix it especially if you give us the chance while you are still in the four walls of our restaurant.

4) Loving your meal? Ask to speak to the manager and tell them so. Bet you’ll get their business card, and on that card is an email that will help you get a reservation in the future.

5) Trust your waiter and your sommelier. They know the food and wine menu better than you; be honest in what you’re looking for and looking to spend and any hospitality professional worth their salt will go out of the their way to set you up right.

For tickets, visit here

Taste Talks Food & Drink returns to Brooklyn September 12-14, 2014. See the full schedule and buy tickets here.


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