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What to do Now that Danny Meyer Has Ruined the Industry

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Jenifer Lang, the former co-owner of the now shuttered and iconic Cafe des Artistes pens a piece for The Atlantic about how to get better service at restaurants. The main suggestions are summed up below, but the most interesting part of this piece is her explanation of why service sucks these days:

...along came Union Square Café, which started the trend of what I call "not my father's restaurant" places. The food was great, the service attentive without being intimidating, and the customer could do no wrong. Customers were seduced by the lack of formality, and started to feel entitled. Chris Cannon, who owns Marea, the hotspot of the moment in New York, calls this the "Danny Meyer effect". It made diners presumptuous and aggressive. The waiters got cranky. Service started to suffer. What do we in the service business do now?

So because Meyer opened restaurants with great service, service everywhere else declined? Curious.

Well anyway, now that Meyer has ruined diners and waiters forever, here are Lang's tips that she gathered from the industry to help us all out.

·If a large party has just been seated, order fast to get your order in before them (Lang)
· Don't eat during a restaurant's equivalent to rush hour (Nieporent)
· Be crazy nice (Grimes)
· When ordering, ask the waiter if he would eat the dish himself (Ripert)
· Break the ice with your waiter somehow (Bruni)
· Order good wine and a lot of it (restaurant consultant)· If you're having an important meal at a restaurant, do a test run beforehand to befriend someone on staff (Lang)
· Getting Good Service: Insiders Spill [The Atlantic]

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