Wrong Waiter, Wrong Restaurant - Selling Products You Don't Like

By Bob Morrell on January 6, 2016

On a recent holiday in the Canaries, we went for lunch in an Asian themed restaurant. This was in a brand new retail park that had some fantastic shops and this restaurant offered us some welcome spicy food to supplement a fairly savoury diet. The waiter who served us was Spanish. My friend ordered and explained that he wanted the hottest version of a particular sauce, and that they could add some chilli too, to make it very spicy. The waiter was incredulous ‘This dish is too hot for me’ he exclaimed. And when he eventually served it he looked at it with some disgust and made a joke along the lines of ‘I can’t understand anyone wanting to eat something this hot..’. So we were in an interesting service based conundrum.

The restaurant was launched to offer tourists and locals a different dining experience and they must have advertised for waiters. The waiter himself must have applied and got the job based on his experience. But clearly not for his enthusiasm. Here was a man whom, if asked ‘What’s this dish like?’ would not be able to answer because he does not and will never eat the food he is selling. He probably can’t communicate effectively with the Asian chef either, to explain requested deviations from the menu, such as that of my friend.  The food, incidentally, was excellent and you can get spice and spicy ingredients in the Canaries if you know where to go. However, it’s a lesson for all – do your staff actively use and like your products? If they don’t then selling them on your behalf will be a harder proposition.