Be careful

Be careful with your thoughts, for they become your words.
Be careful with your words, for they become your actions.
Be careful with your actions, for they become your habits.
Be careful with your habits, for they become your character.
Be careful with your character, for it becomes your destiny.

Jan Gunnarsson – “Hostmanship: the art of making people feel welcome”

Jan Gunnarsson explains everything about hostmanship at TEDxMaastricht. Not only in hospitality but also in hospitals for example. By the way, some waiters (no names this time, you know who you are) could learn a lot of the loving care and empathy of nurses and other heroes in the hospitals! His book is also very nice to read (review)

“Jan Gunnarsson is a hospitality industry veteran from Sweden who exhibits a refreshing take upon customer service and leadership. Jan believes customer experience is not in the first place about strategies and tactics but about the attitude we bring. Jan talks about how the heart of a business is an attitude of yourself. Hostmanship is the book he wrote with Olle Blohm. Hostmanship really is about giving. It’s about sharing a part of yourself and your knowledge. Jan inspires us by the simple belief that we should never be forgetting that people who have contacted you are an extension of yourself. It is about understanding that, in that moment, you are an important part of her life. Not only because you have the answer to her question, but you are also the person she has chosen to turn to. Jan Gunnarsson will give us a completely new view upon care and upon service in healthcare.”

Shadow Puppets with your hands

Always nice to know some shadow puppets you can make with your hands to amuse your (little) guests 🙂
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According to the original caption, the various examples of hand shadow puppetry shown in this picture can be reproduced to cast on a wall the silhouettes of the following animals: a reindeer, a chamois, a ewe, a camel, a pig, a goose, a wolf, a goat, an elephant, a hare, a bear, an ox, a dog, a butterfly and an ass.

This picture was taken from the Dictionnaire encyclopédique Trousset, also known as the Trousset encyclopedia, Paris, 1886 – 1891 and found here.

What can CrazyWaiters learn from Navy Seals

By Wesker100 /  CC-BY-SA-3.0 / http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Navy_SEAL_Reenactment_Group.jpg

Totally different but what can we learn from Navy Seals ?

Preperation

It’s all about preperation. A good set-up, mise en place (all your side work done) and knowledge and above all trained skills. It makes you that you don’t have to think about things and do it automaticaly and take decisions intuitively

Feeling of control

In fact, the illusion of control is so powerful that overconfidence is an asset, not a liability, during disaster scenarios. When you keep thinking:”I’m in the weeds”, you only make yourself crazy. Just breath in and out, do some yogaposes and think:”Everything under control”.

Humor

We can’t without humor. It makes everything so much easier

(Source: Fearlessness: 3 Things You Can Learn From Special Ops And Navy SEALS. Here are 8 other secrets)

Best maître d’hôtel of France 2015

Menu card of the concours

In France there is a competition for being the best maître d’hôtel in the country. The maître d’hôtel is the person who runs the restaurant in the diningroom.

Often overshadowed by the chefs in the kitchen, the maître yet has a key role that this contest aims to promote, highlighting the excellence of the knowledge-how specific to the maitre: the kindness of his reception, his ability to put you at ease and guess your expectations, the range of its knowledge throughout the service, attention to detail, elegance and know how tho manage his team. “You have to be a star in everything!”.

The first thing the ten participants have to do is to dress a appetizer buffet in a beautiful, luxery way. “6 guests will enjoy a champagne or other beverage of your choice, which you can promote. This drink should not last more than 30 minutes. Champagne and 5 pieces of appetizers per person are provided.. “. It’s clear that you don’t put 6 plastic cups on a campingtable 🙂

The buffet of the winner
The buffet of the winner

Then they had to make a Crêpe Suzette, something you do normaly near the guests at table with sugar, orange zest and Grand Marnier. This was followed by the third test to see whether the maitre is able to manage a conflict between a chef and a waiter played by two actors, which reveals the ability of diplomacy and conflict management of the candidate.

After a little break, at 8 o’clock the big test started, serving a table of 5 people (of which one is a jurymember). Of course it was not made easy for the candidates with tricky scenarios etc.

The real test begins!

And this was not the end, the next morning there were oral tests about the English language and general knowledge. And that is taken seriously in France, here are big books available with sample questions like:”When was the end of the era of the king after Louis XIII ?” (1715 of course).

After all these tests and examens there can only be one winner! This year Kevin Chambenoit has the honourful title of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France Maître d’hôtel of 2015. Félicitations !!!! He is  F&B director of the Bristol Paris . In this luxery 5 star hotel in Paris there are 6 people working who won this prestigious competition (in different areas in different years).

Funny to know that monsieur Kevin participated in the test in solidarity with four colleagues and to see where he stood. “If you want to be demanding to your teams, you have to be strict with yourself. Lead by example.” How cool! A very interesting and inspiring interview with Kevin Chambenoit can be read here in French and here in Google translated in English

You can read an more extensive article about this competition  here in French and here in English with Google Translate. (in fact this blogpost is an abstract of it)

(Pictures above © http://blog-lesgrandestablesdumonde.com/ – used with permission)

Here another video about the contest

Free Guides on how to wait tables

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Everybody has been new in business once for at least one day. Everybody will also have new collegues now and then. You can send them to this very well written and extensive page: Free Guide: How To Wait Tables. If you want hints in a list (and a bit hilarious) you can see Server’s Bible: 101 Tips How To Be A Good Restaurant Waiter. One day I’ll write my own CrazyWaiter manual for world domination 🙂

Once upon a time…

The Castle

Once upon a time ….

… there was a beautiful lovely princess wandering around in a park. Suddenly she found on the floor a very very magical wine-opener. She tought: “The person who did loose that one must be very special”.

She asked every waiter in the country whether he lost his corkscrew. Everybody said they did, but couldn’t open a bottle of wine of it. All the time the cork stayed firm in the bottle of wine she brought with her.

Finally after visiting all the restaurants in the country, she saw someone in the very last one who was cleaning the legs of the tables. “Don’t ask Cinderello, it won’t be him”, everybody said. However she did, showed the opener and by the happy look in his eyes she knew it was him. He took the opener and the bottle in his hands and with a magical movement the cork glided smoothly out of the bottle.

It seemed to be CrazyWaiter who was deemed to clean forever the restaurant because he couldn’t do his normal job anymore. Who wants a waiter who can’t open a bottle of wine?

After he thanked her with a hug they looked eachother deep in the eyes. They fell in love, he moved into her castle …

…and they lived happily ever after…..

Yoga for Crazy Waiters

Since 4 months I’m doing yoga now and it helps me a lot to relax and to concentrate. Of course I’m glad to share you my favorite poses to do Backstage, while waiting for the barman to be ready, during breaks etc. Most are standing poses (since there is no mat next to the bar yet), working on concentration, relaxation, shoulders, neck, and the lower back. Namasté !

Edit March 2016: Updated with more poses of which also my favorite: Supported half dog 🙂


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Liza Minelli – New York New York

Sometimes at work, when I close my eyes, I’m standing on a huge stage with a big orchestra behind me performing theatrically this song 🙂 But when I open them I see some kids laughing about my silly arm movents with the beat 😀 This song will be of course part of “CrazyWaiter – The Musical” and maybe it will be a key turning point song. Why? Just come to the musical to find out 🙂

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30+ Reasons to date a waiter

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Every girl likes firemen and rich managers. But smart girls date a waiter ofcourse 🙂

  1. We are highly passionated about food. Isn’t that the first need in life?
  2. We know everything about wine. And if you don’t like wine, what about a cocktail? We have an extensive knowledge about all the other drinks a bar offers
  3. We have a positive attitude in life. Otherwise we don’t survive
  4. We always smile!
  5. We have a great condition and endurance because we walk more then 5 kilometers a day!
  6. Our communication skills are best in class because there’s nothing else we do.
  7. We have always great stories… “Once I had a guest…”
  8. We are very, very kind. That’s the way we earn money.
  9. We have humour and we are smiley. At least most of the times.
  10. We can deal with everybody from poor to rich.
  11. We are hard workers and have an iron mentality.
  12. We earn a lot of money because we make a lot of tips.
  13. We are princes who know how to treat a princess
  14. Life is never boring with us
  15. We know a lot. In any case a bit of everything
  16. We can read people and feel in an instance how to deal with somebody
  17. We respect everybody because we know the importance of being respected
  18. We know how to organise a party or diner. Most likely we’ll help you or your friend while throwing a party
  19. We can connect people.
  20. We are born problemsolvers. Lifeproblems, work problems, logistic problems… say it and we solve it!
  21. We have a lot of patience
  22. Work hard, play hard. We know how to enjoy life
  23. We have great listening skills because we (have to) listen all day to guests and collegues
  24. In the hospitality business people come and go, so we appreciate a stable factor in life a lot
  25. We are capable of handling stress and yes, we can multitask and know how to plan
  26. We know how to deal with children
  27. We pay a lot of attention to our grooming.
  28. We speak a lot of languages, so we can help you order food or find a taxi wherever in the world
  29. We have everywhere in the world (ex-)collegues we know, so traveling has never been that nice
  30. We don’t work at office hours, so if you need food, clothes or other stuff it is calm in the shops
  31. We are galant and we know the etiquette while dining with you and your parents
  32. We have a good taste for clothes (uniform? Who wants a uniform, we wear whether custom made suites whether nice casuals)
  33. We can read a restaurant or bar with a single glance, so you will always going out in the right places
  34. We believe in karma so we give a lot! We are givers by nature!
  35. We are used to take care of people and especially of those who are really important!

So ladies, where are you waiting for ?

(Because I’m a man who likes ladies, I wrote from that perspective. But every combination (M/F, F/M, F/F or M/M is possibile of course!) (Partly inspired by firemenlists etc and this page) (Photo : CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Peter Drier)

 

Möt mig i Gamla Stan in Crazy Sign Language

Whatever you do do it with passion! Here is sign language interpreter Tommy Krångh who “translates” the song of the eventual winner Magnus Carlsson at the national Eurovision Final in Sweden. It reminds me that I have to learn Sign Language as well. Only problem is that it isn’t universal and seen the six languages I speak daily it won’t be an easy task! Songtext and (Google) translation after the jump.

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