An article I read the other day inspired this latest blog post- the multitude of things that go through one’s mind during a restaurant service and how it’s (supposedly) organised!

12:00. The restaurant is open, staff briefed, everything ready to go. How many guests on the books? 50, okay great. Quick bite to eat downstairs, come back up, oh look Table 1 is in. Let’s make sure they’re first out as well. “Good afternoon, welcome, how are you”? Oh you’ve got a suit and tie on, does that mean you’re here on business or avoiding it? Let’s see later on. Water and drink on the table. New table has arrived, 4 of them on Table 2. Suits again. Looks like they’re in a hurry. Suits me. Drink gents? Oh not drinking today. Fine, menus down then. New table 3, 2 ladies. They look difficult. Good morning. Water please. Okay, one of these. Table 1 is ready to order. Starters, mains, sides. Good start. They’re relaxing a bit now. Might be the glass of wine in their hands. New table on T4- a couple? Potentially. The ladies have a question. One of them is dairy free. Yes Madam we have dairy free options but they’re not listed as such, what would you like?. Oh you don’t like mushrooms either? Let me check with Chef for you. Downstairs; dairy free with no mushrooms is fine. Good. Back upstairs. There’s another table, T5. Welcome, water. Back to Madam Dairy Free. You’re fine with that option? Fantastic. They want more time to order. Back to the second load of suits, they’re ready. 4 mains, done. First table have their starters. Ladies on T3 want to order, one no dairy one normal. Two courses on the way. First table finished their starters. Maybe they’re in a rush? Mains away. The 4 gents from T2 are ordering. Starter, middle and main. Okay, maybe they’re not in so much of a rush? Got that one wrong.

Right where are we- first table have main courses; second table waiting for starters; third table probably ready to order; fourth table have a glass of wine but maybe they want to order; fifth table..? Second table starters are here. Very good. Ladies want to order- two courses, one dairy free. Ok. T4 order has been taken, very good. Fifth table are ready. Second table have finished. I’ll clear in a minute. T5 order. T2 cleared. First table still eating. T3, the ladies, starters have arrived. Chef is fast today. First table now done- cleared, dessert menus. Fourth table food has arrived. Ah the Owner is in the building. “Good Morning Sir!”. Back to the floor. Ladies starters are ready to clear. First table finished main courses. Fifth table starters arrived. Ladies’ starters are cleared from T3. Second table middle courses are on the table. Oh there’s something missing? No they just want the salt. They’ve not even tasted it yet, but yes of course sir, here you are. Anyway. First table order coffees, no dessert, with the bill. First in, first out, that went to plan. Third table main courses are on the table. It’s come with cheese. Why has it come with cheese?! Downstairs to the kitchen. One more coming up. Upstairs- sorry Madam, just a couple of minutes. Fourth table cleared. Fifth table cleared. Madam’s food has arrived. Apologies Madam, please enjoy. First table have paid- “thank you gents!”. Second table finished their middle courses. Tables 4 and 5 have main courses. Check on the ladies on T3. Everything is perfect for them. Fantastic! Second table main courses are served. T4 have raced through theirs and are ready to clear. Dessert? Don’t think they’re a couple actually. Too awkward. They’re having dessert though. Fifth table taking more time over their food. Fair enough. Ladies are finished. What dairy free desserts do you have? Have some lovely sorbet Madam. Done. Second table finished main courses. No desserts but a drink in the bar. Let me find a nice table for you gents. Fifth table have finished mains but no room for dessert.That’s a shame. Just the bill? Certainly sir. Fourth table desserts are done and would like coffees. A decaf soya macchiato for Madam and a black Americano for Sir. Petit fours served. Ladies from the third table have finished and are ready to go. “Lovely, we’ll be back!” I hope so ladies. Bill on table four.

Restaurant is empty again.

4:00. What next? We go again for dinner.