Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three hundred and Seventy Three...

60 bottled beers, 10 drafts, over 240 spirits, 16 specialty cocktails, 23 wines by the glass, 6 sakes, 2 ciders, 3 meads, 19 menu items (not including specials), 4 desserts. Most of which you won't find at the corner liquor store or neighborhood pub. Much of it subject to frequent and unexpected changes.
Keeping staff updated and informed can be a Sisyphean task.
I give this thought today, in the wake of a (yawn) management meeting this afternoon in which the topic, among many, was staff education.
The responsibility for this, of course, does not fall on any one persons shoulders. It takes a village, as they say. But who reaches out for who? 
Do we make ourselves proverbial wells awaiting those thirsty for knowledge? 
Do we become the means and message at once, tracking everyone down, and forcing information on them? Quiz them?
Do I send them out to do research on their own?
Hopefully, all of the above. 
The missing piece, however, is the interaction over the table or bar. 
I am proud of the servers and bartenders, who give thoughtful and thorough service to a rather bustling crowd. 
What surprises me is how few of our guests ask questions!!!
It seems that in a culture that calls bartenders "mixologists" and chefs are television personalities, and cooking/eating the exotic is an extreme sport, someone might be timid to ask what gobo or nocino is. 
This poses some concerns... 
One, that a guest may not know what they are getting, therefore not enjoy it.
Two, afformentioned guest enjoys said dish or drink very much, yet not know what it was.
Three, my staff will atrophy in the absence of challenging questions.
So in a nutshell,  among other strategies, I have a solution.
I am going to invite our guests, specifically blog readers, to attend a number of staff product trainings so that as a community, or better as a family, we can start a dialog.
Then, I can get back to work shaking up my menu and screwing it all up again.
Also... do sign up for our twitter to keep up on nightly specials and events.


torque said...

I would love to be invited to such an event. Lord knows I recommend drinks whenever someone next to me at the bar looks confused....


Mike said...


drinkaweek said...

That right there? Is genius. Also, I fully endorse the twitter idea.

Shannon said...

Well, as one customer who always wants to know more...I am hoping to see some REAL egg nog this know the kind you have to wait for i.e.

erik_flannestad said...

Totally down with that idea.

kwatts said...

I do ask questions, but have oh so much more... what's in the chronic drink again, and why does it taste different? :)

noah m. said...

It would be very fun to be invited to something like that...

Also heard that you may be starting up Savoy nights again... and that maybe erik^ would be involved somehow. sounds truly dangerous. anyway... can't wait to visit again and may make savoy night my opportunity.