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If You Can't Say Something Nice, Don't Say Anything At All

I know my articles are meant to be about the culinary industry.This so does apply trust me...

There are some sayings like the one above that seem to have gotten lost over the years. I remember growing up in hearing "If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all." It applied to all that we did as kids.

We heard it when we spoke of our siblings, our friends, the meals we ate, and people we didn't know. My father was big on curbing criticism.

Nowadays I don't think it's one that most parents preach to their children, or practice themselves much.

Criticism and negative comments seem to be the norm.Just go online and read the reviews. Watch reality TV, listen to your colleagues.

It seems so much easier to say and post negative things then think of and say anything nice.It has become common practice to be rude.

It is so important to be kind to the food service industry professionals. They have one of the hardest jobs there is. Being a caterer was listed as one of the top ten most stressful jobs. I think it's all in the title "caterer" In general people think that means cater to, bow down to, take care of me. Give it to me for nothing.

I cannot believe how many times people as me to reduce the price. You wouldn't think of asking your doctor to operate on you for a reduced price, or the meat counter person at Fry’s to reduce the price per pound on a steak you want. Or asked to pay less for something on a menu at your restaurant.

But people have no problem asking us to work for less. Or through things in for free. It happens every day.

I find in hiring the people that make the best catering servers are those that have a passion for serving others. When recruiting new servers I look for people in industries that have a passion for serving others such as teachers nurses caretakers.

It takes a special kind of person to bring people things, clean up after people, and make sure they're happy no matter what during all sorts of events.

A few words of kindness from a guest go along way. If the food is good, say so! If someone goes out of their way to be bring you something and show an act of kindness let them know you appreciate it.

Please, thank you, you're doing a great job, really goes along way when that server is on their 10th 12th 15th hour of taking care of you and the others.

The part you may not have privy to is that before you arrived they loaded trucks unloaded trucks set up tables set up chairs put out tableware, lug pound after pound after pound of equipment and by the time the event actually occurs they've done more work than many do in their entire eight hour day.

Yet they put on a clean shirt, or costume in some cases, a fresh smile and get out there to make sure that wedding, that party, or corporate event is fun for all of those that attend.

This past weekend we catered a big 200 person Greek wedding. The Banquet manager emailed me at the end of the night that it was the nicest group of people that they've waited on in a very long time. They were so appreciative and kind.

It made that fifteen hour day feel more tolerable. I constantly remind them how important our role is in someone's special day.The gratuity is a nice and important monetary reward, but having the occasion when the guests are kind, a review is genuine and not knit picky, a client is grateful, appreciative, and actually thanks us for the work we put into their event goes along way.It all helps keep us doing what we have been doing now for 25 years with a smile.

Another saying from my father "A little kindness goes a long way"