BBC Food blog

« Previous | Main | Next »

What is "good service"?

Post categories:

Michel Roux Michel Roux | 10:11 UK time, Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Any great restaurant is about more than the food – it has to have great front-of-house too. In my experience, a customer is more forgiving towards mediocre food than they are to slack service. One of the things that shocked me most in making Michel Roux’s Service was that good manners are becoming a thing of the past. Even a simple “please” or “thank you” seemed alien to some of our young candidates, and if you don’t have simple courtesy, it’s difficult to provide any level of service at all.

Michel Roux with his trainees


I’m sure it’s about respect, both for the people you are serving, but ultimately for yourself. If you have a stronger sense of self-worth, you’ll provide service, not servitude, and that’s something that we’ve had to work on with our trainees. If they learn to take pride and pleasure in serving, and are passionate about their career, they’ll go far. It’s a tough industry, and without passion it will be very hard to reach the top. With it you can do almost anything. 

It takes a very special kind of person to work in front-of-house. A good waiter has to be so many things all at once; efficient and speedy, but also precise; attentive, but not overbearing; presentable, with excellent personal hygiene and posture; and, of greatest importance, you have to be able to communicate well. Being able to listen properly is a key communication skill. There’s nothing more frustrating for a diner than having to repeat their requests.

And it’s not good enough for a waiter simply to take an order and bring the food to the table. They should be knowledgeable about what they’re serving, know their menu inside out, and work as a team player with the kitchen. They need to be able to sell - with confidence - the full dining experience the restaurant has to offer. 

Michel Roux

 

In my opinion, it shouldn’t matter whether a customer is paying five pounds or five hundred - good service should be everywhere. The customer’s expectations remain the same and they should never be disappointed. You have to know what the customer wants before he even realises it himself. That takes time to learn, but of course a lot of it is instinctive, and the truly great waiters and maître d's have strong emotional intelligence as well as impeccable manners.

What is your experience of good or bad service? Is it good to refill a wine glass or is it just plain annoying? Why do you think Britain does so badly when it comes to service?

Michel Roux is chef at Le Gavroche restaurant and is the presenter of BBC Two's Michel Roux’s Service.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    A friend used to run a pub/restaurant and treated all the same. "Good evening Sir/Madam" etc. One evening three 'punks' walked in, spikey hair, safety pins the lot. He treated them as he would anyone else. At the end of the evening, as they left, the went to him and said words to the effect "Well done mate, it's not our sort of place but 'cause you've been so nice, we ain't gunna smash up your toilets and nick your ash trays". Proof that good service works.

  • Comment number 2.

    Europeans dont think service is servile and demeaning, and I think that a lot of English people do.They become waiters and waitresses as a last resort.
    Perhaps Continentals etc. like making people happy, and feel waiting is a worthwile job.
    Its difficult, some Englishmen snap their fingers to get attention, and treat waiters as a lower species of human being.
    Both waiters and waited-on should be treated with respect
    I expect I will be slated for saying all this !

  • Comment number 3.

    Finally a show on good service. What a great idea! All the best with that and when it comes to Canada I will be watching for it. And a big thank you for finding my blog so interesting you have it under currently reading.

  • Comment number 4.

    I totally agree with Pax having worked in service in the UK and the Med I enjoyed and valued my experience, yes it was tough at times but what you give out you get back. I think service in this country has deterioated considerably, no one seems to 'care' anymore and I don't think there is much value anymore from either side. Re Englishmen snapping their fingers, after a recent holiday in India I was appalled at just that... a very well spoken 'Englishman' shouting at a waiter demanding he should be smarter, we had to apologise for just being 'English' following that.

  • Comment number 5.

    " If you have a stronger sense of self-worth, you’ll provide service, not servitude, and that’s something that we’ve had to work on with our trainees."

    A really interesting point which resonates with me. I run a B&B in France. Most guests are lovely but just occasionally someone arrives who apparently mistakes me for the Downton Abbey scullery maid (vital though that role was!) and assumes I'm at their (frequently unreasonable) beck and call 24 hours a day. I blame the recession! They can't afford 5* resorts and service any more so they try and take their annoyance out on the holiday home owner.

    However, they must be dealt with. The behaviour doesn't upset me - they're paying guests and not friends I respect judging me. I deal with their "attitude" professionally and cheerfully with a big smile and I'm sufficiently confident to say "no" firmly but pleasantly when necessary. But I can see that someone with less confidence and yes, less robust self-esteem, will find that type of guest extremely difficult and potentially upsetting.

    Providing excellent customer service is extremely satisfying and can substantially add to a customer's overall experience. But that doesn't mean someone must demean themselves to achieve this.

    I'm really looking forward to this series.

  • Comment number 6.

    What a great show, I work as a quality assessor for one of the tourist boards and it should be compulsory viewing for all operators regardless of how large or small an establishment is. We can all learn something from the experience that Michel and Fred are passing on.

  • Comment number 7.

    One big difference I always notice between service in France and England is that, in France, they don't bring the food and say, "Who ordered the...?", they just keep track. I'm fascinated to know if this is just some simple technique in how the original order is recorded that might come out in the series.

  • Comment number 8.

    My congratulations to M Roux and Fred for this programe and what they are doing. It is great to see front of house receiving recognition as well as some youngsters getting a great opportunity. It is also great to see a high street chain restaurant being involved. However was it fair to give the learners the responsibility for everything so early on? Was this not setting them up for failure? I am looking forward to the next episode.

  • Comment number 9.

    what a great show! This will make the public appreciate waiters and waitress more! Being a waiter or waitress is not as easy as it looks when you are dinning. This programme shows just how hard it could be!
    Good luck to all in the show, all have potentials, would love to have them serving me when I am dinning. But Ashley really need to control his temper and put his so called 'ASBO' behaviour away and learn what 'teamwork' is! Love Nikkita's smile! Listen to Michel and stay positive! you will do great!

  • Comment number 10.

    Very interesting programme. I do agree that back to basics are needed throughout the service industry. Simple common courtesies like "Please" and "Thank you" have disappeared from many walks of life. In teenagers it seems to be through peer pressure and a simple lack of use in the home environment.

    I'm hoping for a 'My Fail Lady' outcome, but from what I saw tonight, I could be disappointed.

  • Comment number 11.

    I watched, and very much enjoyed your “ Michel Roux Service” programme on BBC 2 this evening. However one thing seriously troubled me. The trainee service staff were shown cleaning toilets in the uniforms they appeared to subsequently serve food in. It may well be they change clothing before service, but this is unclear. Would it not be a better idea for them to have another coloured apron to undertake cleaning in , then all are sure that uniforms worn in service are clean…….I. am a nurse, sorry but from an infection control position we notice these things , and I remember the problems other famous chefs have had with viruses such as Norwalk

  • Comment number 12.

    Having watched the first episode I was not impressed with the way the trainees were 'LANDED' in it before they were sufficiently trained to be able to deal with a restaurant of 60 booked customers plus chance, or as they call it passers-by. I was actually pretty incensed. How would Michel like to be dumped from a great height into a job he had never done before, in front of a tv crew filming it for the public and be expected to succeed?
    Also in his own restaurant I was not happy with the way his staff were serving to the right instead of left of the customer, which when I was trained was a big NO, NO, and worse still a table of two just plonking both plates down at the same time! Maybe we were trained to an even higher specification than he has but we were never allowed to serve a customer until we were deemed profficient. Until such time we just cleared tables and carried salvers to the dumbwaiters. I trust that they get the encouragement and full training required to enable them to succeed.

  • Comment number 13.

    Superb television. Thanks, Michel.I hope this is the start of a customer service revolution, we certainly need one.

  • Comment number 14.

    Toni B: said: But Ashley really need to control his temper and put his so called 'ASBO' behaviour away and learn what 'teamwork' is!

    He's probably never encountered practical teamwork before. He's out of his depth but if he can settle down and cope with taking responsibility and accepting someone's expectations of him, he could easily become a success. He's perfectly bright. Just doesn't understand how to cope with pressure.

    I thought the kids appeared to be "dropped in at the deep end" but they did undoubtedly have more hours of training than we saw. What I suspect the dip in the deep end taught them is that the job needs to be taken seriously and their success will relate to how much hard work they put in. Those who're serious will have already learned to waste less time larking and laughing and more time preparing themselves.

    Michel Roux is an excellent boss / mentor. Brilliant.

  • Comment number 15.

    Congratulations upon a new format and an entirely fresh approach to the normal cookery programme. We have seen 'wall to wall' coverage of life in the kitchen and very little so far of the Front of House team. Now it is their turn. Of course the Michel programme is in the can, so nothing we say will alter the outcome — but the concept is so refreshing I am sure that Michel Roux and his team will demonstrate how they pulled it off, during the succeeding episodes. Well done!

  • Comment number 16.

    I do think it was rather unfair not to have a couple of young people who had a little bit of experience to be able to lead the others.Was the confusion that happened & was shown, too make the programme more entertaining to the viewers?

  • Comment number 17.

    I have worked as a silver service waitress for seventeen years, mainly to fit in around family commitments. I have worked for various companies, privately owned restaurants, agencies and banquetting. I have always been polite and professional when dealing with the public and my employers including my current one have always been very pleased with my standard of work. Sometimes, no matter how good you may be at your job you are always going to get customers who think they are superior to you, are rude, get you to run around for the whole evening without saying thankyou and then not even give you a tip. You have to let all this just wash over your head and be satisfied in the fact that you have done your best, your employer is pleased and understands the pressures that you may entail, afterall they have done this themselves too, and be philosophical and accept that these type of people are the ones with the real problem. I can understand what people say about the money they earn, as I know from experience that this has not increased significantly for some time, if at all in all the time that I have been doing this, unless of course you are able to work in certain establishments in London. My hourly rate is virtually the same now as it was seventeen years ago when I first started waitressing after having my family. I used to work in London in another industry, but I wanted to be there for my family while they were growing up, so I had to make a sacrifice. It is very hard work, especially when dealing with larger numbers, you walk miles and you are not just putting the food on the table but also dealing with customers requests, collecting used equipment, drying up, polishing, preparing equipment and laying up for the following day, checking to see if there are any special dietary requirements, celebrations, mobility issues etc, moving furniture for the next sets of covers, counting used table linen (tablecloths and napkins), restocking salts, peppers, sugars, butter and any special items to be put out as requested by the customer, laying up the tables with cutlery, polish glasses, fold napkins and place, make sure the table linen is visually correct and clean, that everything is lined up correctly and symetrical, that there is nothing missing. Also importantly, that you are dressed smartly, clean hair, nails and a have smile. Restaurants etc charge considerably more in relation to when I first started in this industry, I understand that certain things cost more also, but I think there is something wrong when the value of the money you are earning is going down, plus your earnings are virtually the same, particularly over such a long time span as my own situation. I think it is about time that it is given more recognition as a profession, like in the US or France and pay accordingly. You cannot always rely on tips to make up your money, people tend to think they are paying enough for the meal and drinks, so quite often do not leave anything. I once got 20p for my troubles!

  • Comment number 18.

    Finally! Proof that it isnt as easy as it looks. At last all of you under-rated Front-of-Housers (waiters, bar staff, etc) out there might actually be able to enjoy a little recognition and perhaps even some well deserved celebrity. From now on maybe you will not be forgotten on TV, as you so often are in the work place. Who knows? Some day there may even be a front of house equivalent of Ramsey!
    For years we have been able to watch dozens of programmes (great, good and not so good) about chefs, recipes and kitchens. We obviously enjoy them or there simply wouldnt be so many culinary based programmes on the air. I admit it, I love them! A real guilty pleasure, or simply a last resort, at any time of the day. However it has often occured to me that inevitably, because of the huge emphasis on the kitchen side of things on these shows, the public in general (and kitchen staff in particular) end up thinking that restaurants are simply and only about the quality of the food. That is absolutely not true. Certainly, many chefs (and cooks, and every other hard working member of a kitchen team) are amazing and sometimes inspirational. Everyone who enjoys a good meal out should thank them. But it takes more than good food to make a good meal and it is team effort and team excellence that makes a great restaurant.
    Having worked in the industry for many years, I did wonder when someone would finally realise that front of house is an equally vital element of a good dining experience in any restaurant. Definitely a SERVICE worthy of recognition and perhaps even a dedicated TV series.
    And .... hopefully here it is. Very happy to see that it's the BBC and Michel Roux who have decided to do it. With this type of pedigree Service should be an interesting, informative and knowledge based series - allowing for the tricks of the entertainment trade of course (dont worry or feel guilty BBC, we understand that every trade needs its tricks!).
    Really enjoyed the first programme - hope the rest of the series convinces both diners and bosses (not to mention kitchen staff) that a good waiter is just as important as a good chef.

  • Comment number 19.

    A lovely programme but why drop the 8 in at such a deep end? Must be a restaurant less complicated. The Pizza Hut for one.
    I was surprised to see that when one had 3 plates to place these were served across the table. I was taught to always serve from the right & clear from the left, looks like that rule has gone but I was very glad to see that they were taught to check the glasses & cutlery. So many restaurants just don't bother & get the hump when it is pointed out, even on the new Queen Elizabeth.!.!.!

  • Comment number 20.

    While I have no doubts as the the talent of this man the BBC needs to think what is good Tv and what is not - This sounds as interesting as paint drying

  • Comment number 21.

    I thought this was a good first show but agree with them being dropped in it for TV! No manager would allow group to run a service with 3 days training!!!! Made good TV but a poor representation of good management!(maybe should have let Fred run the service with them).

    I think this may be harder than he thinks, some of the candidates have poor communication skills (problem with our society at large!) and are lacking in motivation (other than to be on TV).

    I mainly enjoyed the look of dread in his eyes at the end!!! 'O my god what have I done' :)

    Fred is great and have worked with many professionals of his calibur and for me, he will be the star of the show. I do like the focus of the program and like others (who have worked in the indutry-front & back) think it will be a nice change from kitchen programs that put the industry in a bad light at times!

  • Comment number 22.

    I trained as a waiter in the 60`s at the Connaught Hotel( Savoy Group)and was taught that the Fish knife was indeed a "palate" knife because of its shape and its real purpose was to slide the flesh off the bone as in those days, most fish dishes were served on the bone. Nowadays,the majority of fish is filleted and served off the bone and therefore fish knives should be obsolete...For the past40 years, I have always used a small knife and fork for all fish dishes in all the top Hotels that I have worked

  • Comment number 23.

    I really enjoyed the programe and I am glad that the people who work hard to give customers a great dining experience are finally getting some recognition in the UK. Well done Michel for bringing it to the general public's attention, not just those fortunate enough to dine in top-class establishments.

  • Comment number 24.

    I loved the show. A lot of people over here in Ireland prefer to accept bad service and grumble about it afterwards. I agree with MR when he mentions that people will accept mediocre food over bad service. For me, if the food is amazing but the service is terrible, I never return to that place. If the food is ok and the service is brilliant, I will, most definitely return.

    I always used to think that people were raised to have very good manners and respect and if you didn't have those two traits, the service industry isn't for you. Some of the people in last night's show look so like the latter but who knows?! Maybe MR can mould them into the former!

    Unfortunately I'll not get to watch the show tonight (if anyone knows when or what time it's repeated, I'd appreciate it-can't use player neither due to geographical restrictions...). I'd love to see how they get on in the busy curry house.

  • Comment number 25.

    Great show ! I really enjoy watching !
    So true that this year we dont see much good service anywhere in the UK
    Why don't you tell the truth that the fish knife is just foe showing off how rich people was in the Victorian time that they could afford an extra set of cutlery ? Just joking but I was told by someone. :)
    Mr Roux, if you ever seen this message, would you please train me too ? I dont need the scholarship but would really like a chance to get train and know more. Promise I will try my best !
    Thanks again for the good show.

  • Comment number 26.

    Michel Roux's Service is an excellent resource for students, food business managers and the food business. I was actually surprised to see Nikkita on the show as I was her teacher at a post 16 centre and her attitude was exactly the same, whiny and complaining but once she became confident in herself she was amazing and able to achieve so much. Unfortunately Michel is experiencing what teachers and lecturers face every single tiring day. Students are encouraged to keep this attitude because the government instituted an 'Every Child Matters' manifesto that discourages any form of discipline that could be deemed ABUSE. This has prevented the trainees on the show developing a disciplined manner. It is a shame that these trainees do not realise that what they do on television will come out when they are looking for real jobs. I do empathise with Michel, he makes clear decisions that were needed. Jarel leaving was necessary as he is not taking this seriously. The other Trainees will see in the end that it was best. Life is tough and I do believe the other trainees will grow up by the end of the process. It is hard to watch their rudeness sometimes, but I am glad that the nation is seeing how 17 - 19s really behave when parents are not watching. All the best to all Trainees.

  • Comment number 27.

    Le Gavroche was probably one of my best experiences of excellent service. I wrote about it in my blog: www.inconversationwithstrangers.wordpress.com.
    Generally speaking we do so badly in Britain on service because we perceive it as 'serving' - not something we like to do - as opposed to making people happy. On the topping up of wine subject - there's re-filling your wine glass and there's pouring it up to the brim taking advantage of people's weak will to feel compelled to finish it thus forcing the issue of ordering more. Not pleasant - and automatically rules out a return visit to that restaurant for me. Tonight's show was more heartening than the first - it took me back to the fun and team bond I experienced in my waitressing days in New York (also in my blog): I don't know if I've ever experienced anything quite like that feeling since.

  • Comment number 28.

    I can't help thinking the previous poster got it right. Watching those kids thrown in at the deep end made me cross, but quite clearly some of them hadn't a clue how to swim. They appear so poorly prepared for the real world and that really isn't their fault.

    The attitude of some of them is shocking, but what is more alarming is they don't realise how bad it is. The lack of respect is astonishing and the kid who got sacked tonight was lucky to last so long. If young people react so badly at being told what to do, one wonders what chance they have in the future.

    We should all feel ashamed we are responsible for allowing the system that produced these kids to be created.

  • Comment number 29.

    They are now starting to bond and act like a team. Shame it took Jarel being kicked off to make them take notice.

    Michel had no choice but to get rid of him. He was highly disruptive and was treating the whole process as a giant joke, as seen in the café by charging any price that happened to pop into his head. Couple that with his total lack of respect for both Michel and Fred, there was no option but to remove him.

    The Curry House gave them a chance to show what they could do and they did well. Just need them to lose the teenage attitude.

  • Comment number 30.

    I have watched both programmes and in each a trainee was cleaning the loos.In the second blue rubber gloves were worn,& still in the waiting uniform. I am sure that does not happen at Mn Roux own restaurant or in general any restaurant that follows health and safety.
    Would any person like to comment on this as it supposed to be a factual series.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    I work in a visitor centre cafe where we always try to give good service. We greet the customer with a smile always, and address them as sir or madam. It doesn't feel demeaning, but rather gives you a power of self esteem. Most are great people who are delighted (and somewhat surprised sometimes!) to be treated politely and with respect but we do get the odd 'attitude' heading our way, you can see them coming before they get to you, with a face to launch a battleship, and you think 'oh dear, here we go....' You just deal with it like any other customer and sometimes you can even crack the ice..you do get back what you give.

  • Comment number 33.

    I think this is a great show, and is a real insight into the challenges faced by young people in general as they try to cope in the real world without having developed basic skills or self confidence in school or at home, as well as being about the service industry. There is a problem in schools now that everything is focused on exams and academic work, and not on developing personal and practical skills. When I was at school, we had classes in catering and had a school 'restaurant' where we gained experience of cooking, serving etc to the Head Teacher and guests at the school. This was great experience and taught me a lot of skills that have stayed with me in all my jobs.

    In do think that good customer service is really important, and it really does influence my decision as to whether I will go back to a restaurant or not. I expect that the person serving me will be there to make my experience enjoyable and to make sure I have everything I need. In return though, I understand that I must also be courteous and should reflect my gratitude by thanking the person, treating them with respect and by tipping. I agree that we do have a bit of a problem with bad service in the UK, but it is a different kind of service to what you get in Europe, where sometimes the service staff can be quite arrogant. I had one experience abroad where the waitress was so rude that we were almost scared to order, and when she brought the food she had turned her back before she even put the plates down. She also forgot half the food and we waited half an hour for the drinks to arrive. As the service was so bad we decided to leave only a small tip, which I think is perfectly acceptable, but the waitress actually came after us as we left demanding that we give her more money!

    I think it is important to teach how to get the right balance of helpfulness and attentiveness without being overbearing. I actually really hate it when the waiter fusses and tops the wine up, but I do like it when they know the menu well and they seem to be happy to be working there. I am looking forward to seeing how they all get on during the series!!

  • Comment number 34.

    This is a fantastic series. Having travelled extensively, lived abroad for many years and eaten in hundreds of establishments worldwide I can say that in in general the service in British eating establishments is appalling. Bravo to Michel Roux and the BBC for raising this issue and tackling it head on.
    I'm not just talking about high class restaurants but every type of establishment - pubs, cafes, you name it. Without a doubt the best staff are always foreigners. They are more knowledgeable and courteous and actually look like they enjoy serving you rather than just waiting for you to leave so they can get home. This is especially so when it comes to eating with children. British staff tend to show fear in their eyes when a young child comes through the door and simply have no idea of the little things they can do to help make the meal as stress free as possible. I hope the series covers family meals at some point!

  • Comment number 35.

    Thank you for a great show!!I have been working as a service staff for aprox.18 years and I still do. It is a great job and not always as easy as it looks.You have to enjoy and keep pride in what you are doing. The show is great and I will keep on looking as there is some good tips and tricks to be learned. But like I say "common sense is not always common". Hope the contestants on the show realise what a great chance this is for them.

  • Comment number 36.

    Enthusiasm, commitment and a positive attitude leads to confidence. Having confidence with the willingness to learn through professional practice will develop professionalism, with professionalism comes the passion for the industry.

    The journey for Michel, Fred and the trainees, is not an easy one and the additional pressures of undertaking this while making good television has produced a great series so far. Mistakes are made on all sides, leaving trainees to sink may be a lesson, but not at the expense of the customer, nor does it enhance the self-esteem of the trainee, but undoubtedly makes better television.

    This series has potential in raising the status of the industry as an aspirational, professional rewarding career. Something that entirely complements the initiative of creating a unique hotel school in the UK, based on the principles of “learning through practice” at the highest professional and academic level, in a real hotel with real guests. Neither this program nor the Edge Hotel School will resolve the industry staffing problems Michel highlights in the programme, but both will go some way in changing and shaping attitudes to the superb career opportunities the international hospitality industry can offer.

    Michel, Fred and all the trainees deserve the industry's support and praise.

  • Comment number 37.

    Excellent programme, very shocked at Jarel and am very glad he has gone. How he could mistake being rude, arrogant, disruptive and sarcastic as just having a "big personality" is beyond me. MR and Fred were a lot more tolerant than most would have been. I also think Nikita might be in for a bumpy ride and the one that was just picking up men....

    I hope they really appreciate the opportunity they are being given and are not seeing it just a a way to get a bit of celebrity and their faces on TV. There a lot of people out there who would kill for the opportunity they have now.

    As for being dropped in at the deep end. That is what happens, it is life not school so they had better get used to it. I don't know anyone who has ever been completely and properly trained for the job that they do. A good 80% of all training is done by yourself as you wok

  • Comment number 38.

    What a smashing chap and a lovely concept, to see these young people having time and interest invested in them, and to see just what this means to them, actually bloody choked me!

    Fantastic Michel, and well done the Beeb, I only wish that I were in a position to help someone in this way.

  • Comment number 39.

    i like this post.. i aggre A good waiter has to be so many things all at once; efficient and speedy, but also precise; attentive, but not overbearing; presentable, with excellent personal hygiene and posture; and, of greatest importance, you have to be able to communicate well.

    regards

    motivasi

  • Comment number 40.

    tonight was the first time i have watched this programe and was shocked to see that when one of the girls asked," what is a turbot" the reply was "a meaty starfish."I think someone needs re-training in her job.

  • Comment number 41.

    Do Right by Those Who Do Right
    Acknowledge and thank team members who meet or exceed your expectations.

    Good Service is Exceeding your Customers expectations, i have been in the Hospitality Industry for 25 years started as a waiter and worked hard for the position i had always wanted, Conference and Banqueting Manager.i had put some very good people through the ranks over the years, but seen a decline of enthusiasm from todays Hospitality staff, who have an attitude of its a job that pays me money, well to real Hospitality People it their Life not just a Job, These young people should be grateful for the time and money thats being spent on their training, i will one day challenge the industry in Manchester and ask what they intend to do to increase the knowledge for their staff, well done Michel and the BBC, i hope these youngsters make a good career out of this series. i would love the opportunity to do the same in Manchester

  • Comment number 42.

    Episode 3 could have been improved if you have a proper dining room chain of command i.e. Maitre d, Captains, Waiter/waitress, bus person and food runners. With 20 years plus experience in dining room service I can honestly advise that the above chain would improve dining room experiences here in the UK.



  • Comment number 43.

    I would just like to say that I am really disappointed on this show. I personnaly work in a four star hotel and I have never seen such behaviour even from beginners.
    I tend to think that those sort of programs are good as they are showing the other side of this industry but tonight I couldn't stand to watch it until the end. This was the worst you can show and see. Some of those kids do not deserve the chance given to them. Some of those behaviour are unacceptable and I donnot understand how they can carry them in this process.
    Well done to the few of them who are actually trying and good luck

  • Comment number 44.

    How much were we loving Fred tonight? I think he should have arrived in a helicopter, forget about the customers.

    I wonder when Michel will get over his crush on Nikita? I don't doubt he wants them all to do well - her included - but really, she knows she's misbehaving and she also knows she's getting away with it because of him.

    I had another lovely 'service' experience the other day: www.inconversationwithstrangers.wordpress.com: 'Maiden Manhatten'. Michel seems to be inspiring me.

  • Comment number 45.

    I was trained to Hnd Level Hotel Management in the 8o's. In all the time I have since worked in the industry I have always been taught to serve food from the left and to clear from the right. The only time service was from the right was for beverages. When did all this change. M Roux seems to be teaching his new people and all the watching public the opposite. Help, confused?

  • Comment number 46.

    I was classically trained in the hospitality industry in the mid to late 60's. I worked in the West End and still work in the hospitality industry and run my own company.

    I was horrified to see some of the techniques being taught to these youngsters are totally incorrect based on a classical training and would like to know if the high end operators like Monsieur Roux deem it their right to change the rules to suit themselves.

    I understand development but believe that rules are rules and were made for a reason, some, not to be broken.

    I am particularly critical of the food service. IT IS NOT CORRECT TO SERVE FOOD FROM THE RIGHT OF A GUEST. FOOD SHOULD ALWAYS BE SERVED FROM THE LEFT, DRINKS SERVED FROM THE RIGHT AND TABLES CLEARED FROM THE RIGHT. HOW CAN THEY GET IT SO WRONG.

  • Comment number 47.

    Dear Lord...........

    MR I hope you get over your crush on Nikkita very soon and tell her to go away, after last night’s episode my friends and I most defiantly have. She is dragging the rest of the group performance down and THIS IS NOT FAIR ON ALL THEIR HARD WORK AND EFFORT she acts like a 2 year old spoilt brat. Had she been serving us with that attitude we would have demanded that she be removed from the table immediately. You made the correct decision on Jarel and even pointed out that had she acted this way in your restaurant she would have been immediately sacked.

    Does this mean that all the restaurateurs who have agreed to take part in this series are not as disserving of the same consideration to keep their excellent reputations intact?

    I must say though that Nicky and especially James seem to be a fantastic finds and are really doing you proud, and Ashley and Brooke who started out with bad attitudes have really turned themselves around embraced the opportunity and we all want them to succeed , even the memory challenged Thomas is putting his all into this

    Looking forward to next week very much with the hope that Nikkita will be long gone five mins after the 5th episode has started..............

  • Comment number 48.

    @IAN BATEMAN: Hilarious! That is exactly the point - good service shouldn't be reserved for certain customers - everyone should receive the same treatment. This is a great example of how it can pay off in more ways than one.
    @Pax: By throwing them in at the deep end they were given a realistic experience of life in front of house, they learnt very quickly how tough it is and what it is all about. Some thrived and some faltered, but at least they knew what they were in for from the word go.
    @aMia Norma: Great to hear! Hopefully our show will inspire more people to view front of house as a valuable and rewarding career - as you do. I love the fact that after 18 years in the business you are still willing to learn new skills - good on you.

  • Comment number 49.

    I think Michel and Fred are doing a wonderful job, they both are so patient. After a very shaky start it seems with the exception of Nikkita that everyone is making a real effort. A real shame that she doesn't seem to be able to take advantage of the great opportunity being offered, but as the old saying goes, you can take a horse to water but can't make him drink.

    Even though it is obvious even at the halfway stage which few are serious contenders for the scholarships, this learning opportunity will I am sure be valuable experience for nearly all of them and provide them with a direction in which they want to move forward.

    I hope this series will only be the first of many to provide a great opportunity to others in the future.

  • Comment number 50.

    I've been watching this programme as I thought it would bring back memory of my time working the restaurant industry back in the 1990's in London.
    My first reaction to the attitude of the teenagers at the start was absolutely DISCUSTING!!! I was around their age when I first went in the industry & I would never of behaved & spoke the way the did!!!! Maybe it comes down to that fact that we(I'm in my 40's)were taught discipline & respect & wouldn't of even thought to behave like that!!!!!!!!! I don't know if it because the camera's were there or simple that they dint like being told what to do??!!
    I've continued watching it & I'm very pleased that they have all improved greatly, except for Nikkita, the girl has the completely wrong attitude; the "my life is like this, its never gonna change" well no with that mentality no it won't!!
    The have been given a great opportunity, I'm sure many our millions unemployed youngsters would like such an opportunity. The same can be said back when Jamie Oliver did "fifteen".
    I think Ashley & Brooke have done immensely well, in fact all of them have bar Nikkita, they have really tried hard & listened & built up their skills & knowledge of what it takes to be a good waiter/waitress. Its is a hard, busy & demanding job, but also a lot of fun; I loved working in the restaurant's. It doesn't take much to smile & be polite to people & when you do you are rewards with good customers & good tips.
    Last nights episode was a nightmare; I didn't like working in formal restaurant settings, it feels uncomfortable. I'm more a friendly, bubbly type of person I did better in less formal surroundings. So I total got how uncomfortable they felt. But by the same token you know what your supposed to be doing & you should be able to do you job.. The cock-ups they made shouldn't of happened.And Nikkita, should been put down for her attitude...again!!!!
    I look forward to seeing how its plays out & who will get the scholarship's & see what to other go on to do with their future.....good luck to them!!!

  • Comment number 51.

    Hi great programme please please bring out DVD when the series finishes, it would be a great tool for all
    restaurant/manager trainees.Well done michel

    Thanks Ian


  • Comment number 52.

    Yes, I think Nikkita should be removed, but that is not the main point I want to make.
    Michel, In a Top Hotel I would expect any waiting staff to speak , at least, grammatically and have a nice tone to their voices. It is not just what they say, it is the way that they say it!
    Do you intend any training in this area, or do you not agree with me?

  • Comment number 53.

    Serving from the right or left. As a Butler it must be from the left most people are right-handed so if you are silver serving you can only do it from the left also the glasses are always on the right which would impede the wine waiter.
    So please tell Michel Roux !!!!!

  • Comment number 54.

    What a superb job Michel is doing and what an amazing personality he has and Fred is just the ideal support, so perfect.

    The programme is a superb idea and it is great to see how in small ways the youngsters are developing more and more with each programme, you are never going to knock off all the rough edges over night and it is a pleasure to see that Michel accepts this so well unlike many who comment here.

    I can assure one poster that I have stayed in many 5 ***** Hotels worldwide and not just the UK and I want good service and a pleasant personality rather than the tone of the voice. I am Sure Michel understands he needs to polish up some of the youngsters, but I have worked myself with many rough stones in young people and they have become Diamonds!

    Ashley as Michel judges has lots to offer and have respect for the young guy that he wants to learn and improve, it is not his fault he was born in Leeds on a council estate and has an accent, just look at the many Geordie accents we now have on TV documentaries? gone are the days of pompous we only accept you if you speak a certain way.

    There is no doubt James has what it takes, but I am not certain why he is in the programme, he would walk into a training programme anyway and he really wants to be a owner rather than someone working in the industry.

    It is time for Nikkita to be sent home, it is tough as I am sure she has had so many rejections in life, but she is not changing and does not seem to want to change! so typical of many young people sadly

    The lovely smile of Brooke and her genuine warmth is a pleasure to behold and is what the programme is all about along with Ashley I really want to see them both do well.

    Thanks Michel and also Fred, it is such a good programme.

  • Comment number 55.

    From Pax.
    I am a potential customer, and I think that the way people speak is important.
    I previously, just asked Michel if he intended giving any pointers about this,a not unreasonable question, surely.

  • Comment number 56.

    I think it unkind and unfair to say that Michel has a "crush" on Nikkita.
    I think she IS self destructive and troublesome.
    She is a very troubled girl with an "attitude problem" but behind it all is very capable and could have a charming manner,if she could lose her feeling of "no worth"
    I think it praiseworthy that Michel is trying so hard with her. [Remember, we dont know what goes on behind the scenes"
    She probably will have to go if she is unwilling/unable to change, but I applaud Michel for still trying with her.
    Some councelling might help her , but too late for this project.
    Poor girl!!

  • Comment number 57.

    Pax, I have never had any doubts that those finally chosen will get full support from Michel with regards the way they speak and also react in conversation, but it is 2011 and with the many regional accents as well as multi racial in our Country, gone are the days of the stiff upper lip for those in this industry, in fact I would feel uncomfortable with it, it is quality of service and attitude that I put as most important.

  • Comment number 58.

    Michel Roux hasn't got to where he is today by being either an idiot or a bad judge of character/potential. His handling of Jarel could/should be used as training material on any leadership course (for any profession). His handling of Nikkita is also excellent. He's recognised her potential and her problems and he's determined to breakthrough and help her to overcome the latter and achieve the former.

    While her behaviour frustrates me, I can also see that her defensiveness comes from a fear of failure. She would prefer to push people until they reject her - and then she can console herself with the thought that "life's just against me, I'm never going to get anything good in my life". In fairness to her, I have to say that she probably has the most difficult personal circumstances of the group - after all, it can't be easy for her to be separated from her little girl. I know she put herself forward and all that, but this is probably the longest she's ever been apart from her daughter and that has to be tough for her.

    I think that Michel and Fred see all that, and they desperately want to make the breakthrough that will convince her that she can achieve something with her life. I truly hope that they made the breakthrough - and if not I hope that Nikkita will watch the series and realise that Michel genuinely saw something special in her and that with hindsight she can gain some confidence and comfort from that fact.

  • Comment number 59.

    In reply to 28 by Michel
    Please Michel, it was not I who wrote about throwing them in at the deep end.
    Mine was comment no.2 starting "Europeans dont think service is servile"

  • Comment number 60.

    Michel Roux ...what a find! He is such a lovely man. He instinctively knows how to nurture these young people, build up their confidence and show them they have potential. If only some of this bunch had had parents and teachers with the same attitudes and commitment as Michel shows towards them then some of the group may have taken a different path. Can you imagine Ramsey gaining these young people's respect?
    I love this programme just for the interaction between the young people and Michel. I hope the lad from Leeds, whose only qualification had been to gain an ASBO, does well.

  • Comment number 61.

    Fantastic series.... As far as Britain is concerned,we fail to recognise this job as a skill. In other European countries Waiters and Waitresses are treated with much more respect. It is a job as worthy as any other and If only people would stop treating waiting staff with such disrespect then there would be a turnaround. I took great pride in my job when I was a waitress and that's what Nikita is missing. She needs to recognise her skills and if she could only realise that she has amazing potential then she would change her stroppy attitude. We've all been there and it is difficult when you feel uncomfortable with your surroundings but nobody is better than anyone else unless you allow yourself to feel like that. It's a job, a skill and it takes a certain amount of charm and confidence that not everybody is suited to but they all have something unique and if they really want it then they will succeed. I do feel however that dropping them into it at the hotel without at least one member of senior staff was unrealistic. It takes months to have the confidence to run a section no matter how many covers there are! At the end of the day even if you make a mistake nine times out of ten a smile and an apology is all you need and the customer will understand. Good luck to all of you, I'm sure you will do very well. I look forward to seeing Nikita succeed and prove everybody wrong!!!

  • Comment number 62.

    Serving Convention.

    Having just watched the 20th January edition of Michel Roux's Service, I am once again concerned to watch and listen to the 'trainees' being told to serve on the right and clear from the left. This is the reverse of that which has been British tradition for generations (see Debrett's and Mrs. Beeton). Perhaps this reversal has come about by the influence of continental 'front of house' (and Chefs?) personnel - in the same way as driving on the wrong side of the road!

    Your comment please Mr. Roux.

    Regards,
    ANB.

  • Comment number 63.

    I too would LOVE to receive clarification from Michel on his 'serve from the right' policy. I debated this point with a colleague some time ago and asked 2 different michelin starred restaurants in Scotland to clarify. One said they serve from the left, clear from the right. The other said they serve from the right, clear from...the right. Etiquette guides and online resources also provide contradictory advice but I had believed until now that standard practice was 'serve from the left'. Ultimately, I believe one should choose the option which causes least inconvenience to a guest - eg if a guest is leaning in to talk to another guest, don't step between them to serve. However, it would be great to be assured of the highest industry standard.

  • Comment number 64.

    having watched the programme l am as amazed by your love,care and patience,not withstanding your Maitre D, Fred,who is certainley a gentleman who enparts the essence of service and a wonderful desire to teach,mentor and guide--a true professional--
    Sir-this is a plea from the forgotten generation-there are many programmes focusing our wonderful youth!We do have also an more mature,yet un trained body who are seeking opportunities within industries which have,or ,have seemed out of focus or even their reach.
    There is a 15 but there is'nt a 45--there are people who would,will and embrace a chance----thankyou and l wish all the candidates great success-

  • Comment number 65.

    The only steadfast rule when it comes to serving is to be as un-obtrusive as possible, and to serve and clear with style, elegance and aplomb.

  • Comment number 66.

    since watching this from the first episode, i have thoroughly enjoyed it. michel and fred are doing a great job!!!!!!!!!111
    i would have loved to be on that show. i am currently doing my A-levels and have done work within food and chef work.
    PLEASE LET THERE BE MORE SERIES SO THAT I AN DMORE YOUNG PEOPLE CAN HAVE THIS AMAZING OPPORTUNITY.
    it is very important what Nikki said about people in this industy. if you can't be bothered then you shouldn't be doing the job. the way that waiters and waitresses are towards is very important. they need to have a good attitiude that care and aren't just there for the money!!!!!
    i hope that james,brooke,ashley win because i think they are putting in the most effort and really want this for thier future. they are very passionate about it.

  • Comment number 67.

    Michel is giving these young English people the opportunity to learn a trade with pride.

    It is so heartwarming to see the development of some the trainees many of whom may well of gone through life with little self esteem... Fred & Michel offer both discipline & self worth which is so very lacking in the education system within State education in the UK.

    In the Netherlands young people are offered education that is tuned to stretching ability not just chasing university places!

    Thank you Michel, Fred and the BBC for doing this social exercise whether intentional or otherwise!

  • Comment number 68.

    I cannot understand why Michel Roux would want anyone without a love of food and wine in the first instance, to serve in his restuarant? I would have thought that this was the first requisite before they began training? I have eaten at Le Gavroche a number of times because I like good food and wine, together with top service. I do not want to be served by staff who only see it as a career, shy away at the thought of anchovies, and cannot pronounce the word "water" properly. If I am paying top prices, I want everything to be top quality.
    I am going to the Gavroche again soon.....

  • Comment number 69.

    Congratulations Michel - a great mission and a brilliant programme. Not only am I impressed with the way the students are developing, I love your approach with them. It makes a pleasant change to see a chef developing people by setting clear standards and encouraging the students to reach them - without hystrionics and swearing. Reading back through this blog, I have seen a lot of people giving up on Nikkita - tonight's programme has shown that by building her confidence and not giving in to her insecurities, she is being developing fast, in both skills and attitude. I would not be surprised if she were a close runner for her final two, but even if she is not, you have given her a great opportunity to "get a life".

  • Comment number 70.

    this programme is brilliant!! my parents just recently bought me a pub/restaurant an just watching this prog has tought me some new things i want my staff to do!! its so true how your customer service goes on its exactly what they want! so im glad you did this prog as im a 19 year old now with my own buisness..maybe i can now run it better after learning a few things so thanks! it aint open yet but will be in easter!!now i can prepare properly! x

  • Comment number 71.

    What a fantastic programme, we are really enjoying watching all the trainee's grow and develop. Learning, not only good waiting on service, but also valuable life and social skills. Michel and Fred must have the patients of saints! But I'm sure it'll be worth it. Last year my family and I had the good fortune to dine at Michel's resturant in Mayfair - It is an experience that will stay with us all forever, and it is still a talking point a year on!! We wish all the trainee's the best of luck no matter what they do, they are proving that they will do it well. Polly and Dave Barnes

  • Comment number 72.

    Teaching Hospitality through college training restaurants the debate on serving to the left or right is interesting and students following the programme have found this confusing. No wonder Nikkita was confused, at the wedding she was instructed to serve from the left and the following day instructed to serve from the right. Michel I agree with your steadfast rule but why then was so much placed on the students getting it wrong!! The programme is excellent, inspiring and a much needed focus of the importance of Front of House Service. I certainly don't know who gets my vote yet.

  • Comment number 73.

    I do really enjoys this program and its a must watch for me. I have been working in the caterin industry for 10 years, starting as a kitchen Assistant, climb up the ladder to Restaurant General Manager/Area Trainer. Nikkatta just remind me of myself when i started earlier on but she got the personality and attribute to become a potential very good waiteress and am glad she is giving that opportunity and it seems Fred and Michel has faith in her. Trust me if my previous Manager wasnt patience and had faith on me, i wouldnt be were i am today. I started as a 19year as a Kitchen Assistant and turn out to be the man i am today because of what i have learn and achieved. I am a peoples persons with a Bachelors Degree but am not a mon-fri 9 to 5 guy and i would chance my current job for anything esle as i love it and get really job satisfaction by looking after our guest. Maybe Michel needs to do a program on Restaurant Manager's after this one, as the key to any sucessful Restaurant is about the Management to the Kitchen Assistant all loving what they doing and delivering food and great customer service. Well done on the program as this is what many of us deal with on daily basis.

  • Comment number 74.

    First of all Michel I very much enjoyed your programme tonight. I found the sommelier aspect particularly interesting. I myself would love to be a commis sommelier, but am finding it difficult to find a way into the industry and build up experience. While having no silver service experience, I have worked on a vineyard and in the catering and service industry before. I'm also a graduate and in no way see it it as a demeaning job, and would love to continue to learn about wine. Any advice?

  • Comment number 75.

    You have great patience with young people who I hope appreciate your time and patience. I also hope they realise the opportunity given to them that they may otherwise have had the chance to have. I am amazed by the attitude young people have nowadays. I was always taught respect and how to say please and thankyou and sorry most importantly.it's a shame to see this has died out. Michel you are working miracles on people that normal society would have given up on. If I had of been rude to my clients in my business as some of these youngsters have I wouldn't be where I am now. I hope they break their own moulds and excel. Michel you are a diamond.xx

  • Comment number 76.

    Michel, I love your programme. I love the passion and enthusiasm you have for making a difference to the lives of these young people. I was a teacher for 36 years and a school principal for the last years of my career. I believe that young people often get a really bad press. You have shown that by expecting, demanding oftentimes, the highest standards possible, young people can achieve beyond their wildest aspirations. I applaud all that you are doing and it is so apparent from the programmes that you yourself take such delight in their achievements. Not only are you a chef sans pareil but a teacher sans pareil.

  • Comment number 77.

    Do you ever feel dejected or disheartened when your new crew tut and sigh and have an attitude..must be hard not to go home with your head full of despair sometimes ;-)

  • Comment number 78.

    That's great!

  • Comment number 79.

    Having watched every episode of 'Service' I cannot help but think this is Michel Roux's '15'.

    Unlike Olivers crusade which appeared to have genuine passion and motive I find the programme is merely a vehicle for Michel to try and not only raise his profile but also make himself more contemporary in the eyes of a new audience. Though his belief in the group is admirable (if not wholly believable) I truly think that at least two or three of the individuals are embarrasingy poor (Nikitta,Brooke)and certainly do not belong in a fine dining establishment.
    I think Michel knows this to be the case and struggles to maintain the 'bad girl, single mum, estate,asbo done good ' act at times. Others show potential but the whole programme appears very staged and false-Michel looks to be merely going through the motions.

    Michel , please don't go down the same road as notable others (Ramsay, Marco etc) and taint your impeccable reputation forged over many years any further with such transparent drivel. Thankyou.

  • Comment number 80.

    Michel, for me the wonder of this programme is the way you are infusing these young people with flames of confidence in themselves. Your warmth to them is so very obvious and whether they end up in your industry, or out in the wider World, your parental, caring, approach to each of them will have a lasting effect. You, and your team as seen, are genuine, vocational guardians not just teachers, and it warms my heart to see such great examples on how to nurture young people. All that, and great television. wonderful, just wonderful!!

  • Comment number 81.

    I have worked in the service industry for the past 20 years and watching Nikkitta today I remember what I was like, I was insecure and hated having to talk to customers and took offence if they were abrupt.

    I wish Michel was there when I started out, he is so patient and wants them to love the industry rather than just think of it as a job.

    I am still in the industry although no longer in the frontline but still love it.

    Was fabulous to see Gerry from Simpsons, I love his passion for meat :-)

    I love this show I hope this will not be a one off.

  • Comment number 82.

    Brodz:

    How can you possibly know what Michel's motives or thoughts are?

    But ignoring the cynicism for a moment we often forget how young these trainees are. Ashley, Brooke, and Nikita, for example, are very young both in years and experience but they are rising wonderfully to a very stiff challenge.

    I have been interested in wine for for more than 35 years but I would still have been impressed with Nikita's skills and approach despite her personal indifference to the stuff; a remarkable achievement in such a short space of time.

    My wife and I ate in Le Gavroche a few years ago for our wedding anniversary. Great food and excellent service topped off with Michel's personal request for feedback. Looking forward to our next visit.

    Please don't become a TV 'Personality,' Michel, and desert your kitchen for the studio. At least not too often.

  • Comment number 83.

    Long time ago working for the two Brothers, I can remember when once,while Michel Jr on holiday coming back from Covent Garden Market with his father the Great Chef Albert Roux. They stop at the Poulbot (one of their establishment at the time)dropping goods. We were short of Washer up, Albert straight away offer the service of Michel Junior, and Michel jr. stay til the end,. He would have learn also from his "Papa" the first person who was greeted in the kitchen when Albert enter, will be the Kitchen porter, that bring respect, to the rest of the staff. No matter how low you are on the ladder,everybody is important.
    Later working at the Waterside, as head Waiter, Albert and Michel Snr helping us with the service, they will put Suits on instead of chefs jacket, when need arised. Michel jr only follows on the step of a great dynasty.
    Also wishes more young british staff join the hospitality industry, working now as an assessor, I witness even in this time of recession still a shortage of willing youngsters to join this industry, Hospitality gave me 40 years of Happiness. Big events are coming in this country in the next 2 years, JO etc.and we will be short of train staff.
    So this program is definetly a good advert.

  • Comment number 84.

    I am still amazed by the patience both Michel and Fred show every single time, I am sure their attitude is one of the main reasons nearly all of the candidates are doing so well, even the indifferent and often surly Nikkita. Hope they all continue this great learning process whether they are the lucky 2 who eventually win a scholarship or not.

    One little niggly thing which I find a bit annoying and I am hoping that Fred and/or Michel could give him some pointers - Ashley's *art* of making small talk with his guests always comes over as if he is giving them the third degree, he has come such a long way since they started, just a little more polish and he will be great.

  • Comment number 85.

    Series getting better even Nikkita seems to be less agressive. Didn't like the clearers at the roof top, wearing black as some were chewing gum disgustingly. Really off putting

  • Comment number 86.

    Great programme - nice to see youngsters brought on from all walks of life.

    Only one gripe - which is important for fine dining and good service is 'elocution' - especially when dealing with customers, that, after all, are paying lots of money for good fine dining and service and therefore speech and pronunciation make up for even better service.

    Perhaps some elocution training with some of Michael Roux's trainees would round off the the complete service.

  • Comment number 87.

    Great programme Michel!

    As someone who is just starting up a business teaching young people about etiquette, this programme is so relevant to what I feel passionately about. So many of our youngsters today don't know how to be considerate to those around them or speak correctly to people they meet in their everyday lives.

    Your trainees are doing brilliantly and the progress from week to week is so encouraging. There should be more infectious training like this in our schools and colleges so more young people turn out to learn how to be considerate, well spoken individuals. Just think how this sort of training would benefit employers not only in the service industry but across all businesses if our youngsters were taught how to serve others and have manners too. Well done!

  • Comment number 88.

    First of all my CONTRATULATIONS to Michel and Fred. People know very little about working in Front of House . I must say I really enjoy the programme. I am a waitress and sommelier in fact Food and beverage manager and I agree what Michel said and Fred you need to be pasionate in your profesion .But at the same time in this society nowdays young people they need more encourage for something for the best of their futute and Michel you are doing a great job really!!!!!!!!!.I been working with youngster training them Food Service and I tell you they need lot of encouragement but they realise that is very rewarding. Iam happy for your trainees because they are improving a lot when they didn't know anything and also you are encourage british people to feel pasionate about this job that we need to be very proud like any other job.Once again Thank you Michel and Fred. WONDERFUL JOB YOU ARE DOING!!!!.

  • Comment number 89.

    Michel another fantastic programme, your genuine warmth towards your students is a pleasure to see and share. I do feel your dedication along with Fred is doing so much for all the young people involved.

    Viewers need to remember that some of the experts have had so many years training and experience and if they are like myself in my chosen career I still learn something new every day and I would be disappointed if I didn't, these young people are only weeks into their training and they are developing in leaps and bounds, yes they are making errors, which I am sure we all may do.

    I am still a firm supporter of Ashley and Brooke they both have some points which show how they are raw, James has it but does he want to do what they are being trained for as much as some?

    Michel I admire you! thanks.

  • Comment number 90.

    I agree ashley and Brooke do stand out and are changing more and more. They are both a breath of fresh air. Hidden charms and sooo keen to change. I think if they were let down it would knock them back soo much that they would become the bad part of society again and give up trying. They are trying so much more giving 110% that if they fail it would damage their confidence so much it would be a shame. Plus it would give others from rough backgrounds NEW HOPE !!!

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    I currently work in a four star Hotel.. It is the general opinion that serving to the right and clearing
    From the left is not correct! Now I wonder now who is right.. My employers
    Or Michele? We have searched for answers online.. They disagree with Michele.. So can we clear this up?

  • Comment number 93.

    It's my 40th birthday tomorrow and I would love Michel's team to serve a meal to me . It would be a Pleasure.;-) xxx

  • Comment number 94.

    Have just finished watching Michel Roux's Service. The palpitations have died down and I am now calm. What a great program and how fortunate those young people are.
    But why is it that all retaurants serve wine? My dream is to find a restaurant that offers the customer a Beer Menu. Why not? We have over 750 breweries in this country producing thousands of different beers. Beer is every bit as complex as wine and can be matched to food in just the same way as well as being used in the food preparation.

  • Comment number 95.

    Great show and I shall miss the final episode, which is deeply frustrating. One thing I have noticed over the last 2 or 3 episodes is that Tom seems to get very little coverage. It's almost as if the group has become 6 and not 7. He got praise from one of the tables on tonights show, but this was not even mentioned. I think all 7 students should get equal screen time. If he is doing well then lets hear about it. Let them all have their moments of screen fame. It just leaves me the impression that in the editing process (the diploma decision by then being known) bias has crept in at an early stage.
    That aside I am on the edge of my seat and nervously glance at the clock to see how long I have to last. What it must be like for the students doesnt bear thinking about. Keep up the good work each and everyone and good luck for the last 2 episodes.....but then you already know who has got the diplomas!!!

  • Comment number 96.

    How true!
    Nowadays, no matter where you eat, good service remains rare. It’s not a question of money, or how popular the resaurant may be. Bad service can happen erverywhere and that makes it so frustrating for customer.
    Sure, I cannot imagine, how hard it must be to work in service, especially in those beloved Happy Hours, when tons of people order all at once, but again: For me as a customer, I have this one hour once a week, to treat myself with a good dinner, or lunch. I want to relax and I expect to feel good when I go back to work, for example. If this is not the case I am frustrated and probably won’t come back again, when the service is bad. NO matter when the food was great.
    I just keep asking myself why it is so hard for a lot of restaurants to hire staff, which is qualified and has fun at his/her job?

  • Comment number 97.

    Caroline j wrote
    " I agree ashley and Brooke do stand out and are changing more and more. They are both a breath of fresh air. Hidden charms and sooo keen to change. I think if they were let down it would knock them back soo much that they would become the bad part of society again and give up trying. They are trying so much more giving 110% that if they fail it would damage their confidence so much it would be a shame. Plus it would give others from rough backgrounds NEW HOPE !!! "

    The vast majority of these young people are giving more than 100 percent and they were given this opportunity because of the fact that for various reasons they ALL needed an opportunity. It doesn't seem reasonable that particular individuals should be given preference solely based on what the viewer perceives is an exceptional circumstance. Surely the whole point is that all of them are given an opportunity to give them hope and take their lives in a new direction (regardless of whether they are the fortunate 2 who do receive the scholarship)?

  • Comment number 98.

    Great show and I'm really enjoying it. Keep up the good work Michel!

    I'm interested in hearing feecback from people on a custom I call "autioning off" food at the table. Like Noel A, it really bothers me when a waiter says "Who's having the seabss?". I spent a couple of summers during Uni waitressing and we used a pivot system of wirting things down in a certain order: this ensured we knew who got what, without needing to check with the person who originally took the order (or worse still, interrupt the customer). I don't mind it so much at Pizza Express but I would be very disappointed if I got it at a top restuarant such as La Gavroche. For those of you with formal training what is the standard line is on this?

    Secondly, I understand that most of the trainees have come from less-than-perfect backgrounds, but I agree that some sort of elocution might be in order. I too really dslike listening to wa-er and bu--er without the t, and I really don't think "hiya" is an appropriate greeting in a formal setting(if that's what I wanted, I'd go to McDonald's). To me they seem quite defensive and resistant to change. Surely they realise that they way they speak reflects on the restaurant they're representing. I come from a small village with a not-ideal accent and very little food or wine culture (Blue Nun anyone?!) but when I was 18 I had a real burning sense of wanting to discover the world, improve myself and present myself in the best way possible, and this is something that really puzzles me about some of the trainees like Nikita.

  • Comment number 99.

    I have watched all the episodes and am surprised at the lack of comments about the voices used by the trainees. Almost all of them seem unable to notice that the clientele they serve do not use the stop-start speech of Ashley, the gravelly voice of Nikki or the down-market slant of Brooke. The trainees all have ears - do they never listen to themselves? This is not a critique of accent. I have no objection to regional avariations of speech. I seek to say that one's voice should be used to present a welcome just as much as one's body language. Surely Michel Roux would point this out to them?

  • Comment number 100.

    What a pleasant change to see a program which encourages and helps people to develop. Michael Roux is always positive while he is challenging the contestants to perform and improve. You get the impression that they are all going to come out as winners.
    Congratulations on emphasising real teamwork and avoiding the trap of setting up situations where people are manipulated to argue and find fault in each other whenever the pressure is on!

 

Page 1 of 2

More from this blog...

Topical posts on this blog

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.