The reach of a restaurant: Thomas Keller at TEDxEast

As an owner of several successful restaurants, Thomas Keller delighted the audience by sharing the key to running successful restaurants and bakeries. From the extraordinary relationships he builds with individuals across the country who provide him with the highest quality of ingredients to the way in which he fosters an environment for exemplary execution, he has designed a formula for success. He believes that what is most important is to create a memorable experience for diners. Thomas Keller owns eight restaurants and two bakeries including, The French Laundry, Bouchon and Bouchon bakery.

Leadership and Service with the Mouse

(c) Disney

The Company with the Mouse has an own institute for Service and Leadership, the Disney Institute. It’s very funny and nice for me to see some concepts related to my workplace and the terms I use in daily life.

Their blogposts about leadership are well worth reading and their ideas match mines. I liked the blogpost with the checklist to find leaders in the organisation, the fact that everyone is a leader according to Disneys believe and the reason why the parks are so clean. Also the posts about Quality and Service have my big interest ofcourse 🙂 There is so much to read (I just started), but I want to share the H.E.A.R.D. formula for service recovery with you.

(BTW Another nice article at another site about service at Disney)

Great miming in Paris… je t’aime

Paris Je t’aime is a film consisting of 18 little films each representing an arrondisement in Paris (two are left out).  This video, shot near the Eiffel tower (8th arrondisement,) is written and directed by French animator Sylvain Chomet. A boy tells how his parents, both mime artists (Paul Putner and Yolande Moreau), meet in prison and fall in love. It’s great inspiration for CrazyWaiters, I’ll use the gesture of the hand moving from the bottom of the face to the top to let appear a smile a lot 🙂

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Expert Translation… or not?

This improvisation can also be done with real guests (or collegues), with real conversations. You “translate” what the other says by using you’re fantasy, in a real language or not. A lot of variations is possible, also depending on your own knowledge of the languages and inspiration. You can add up fun with non-verbal signs and face-expressions!

I do it also with collegues who speak Arab or Hindi in our break. Nobody understands them (included me), but I’m so kind to ‘translate’ for my colleagues. Ofcourse you use similar sounds, so when somebedy says ‘tingelingeling’, you translate it as ‘bell’ or ‘phone’.

Take care, not everybody likes to be fake-dubbed 🙂 That’s why it might be safer to do it with colleagues (warned or not warned by you) in front of the guests.

Here somebody speaks ‘Swedish’ about a Volvo and the other has to “translate”. It comes from Whose line is it anyway and the game is called expert translation.

This idea is also used in one of my favorite films ‘La vita è bella’

Playing with accents

Today I was seater. I take the guest to the table and explain the buffet:”et voila, l’entrée, l’entrée, plat chaud, dessert“. She:”attendez monsieur je vais le traduire pour les autres… l’entrée l’entréé plat chaud dessert“. WTF!!!

Being a polyglot isn’t easy, you have to fight against your accent because they don’t understand you. French is a very sensitive language in this matter and the Frenchies in general aren’t the most patient people (in contrary to Italians for example). But even in my motherlanguage I have a kind of accent (“You speak it perfectly, but where do you come from”) so maybe it’s me. 🙂

But as CrazyWaiter you can also play and improvse with it to amuse your guests. Amy Walker is doing 21 accents. After the jump she explains how to do it.


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The phantom of the restaurant

No no!!! Don’t touch that table! Underneath is the phantom, who will escape. He lets everything fall down. Don’t you see the little broken glass on the floor? It’s his work! No no! Don’t look underneath the napkin! It’s the spirit of a waiter who died from love hurt. His girlfriend, a beautiful Italian waitress fell in love with a chef and left. All the waiters will drop glasses if he’d escape from underneath!

Yesterday I had a lot of fun with a couple of curious kids who wanted to look underneath the napkin of a gueridon. And if you tell kids NOT to do something, yes you know, they’ll try to do it. Of course inspirated by the Phantom of the Opera

(Photo “Spook” by Rob Boudon, used and adapted under CC 2.0)

Camerero! Que?

Yes, of course I’m not happy with the fact that The Netherlands didn’t win the World Championship this year. But the pain is softened when seeing them (or us :)) loosing on your holiday near beautiful Spanish girls in La Tana dell’Orso, a popular bar for foreign students in the fantastic city Perugia, Italy. Especially when they teach me a song which will give me a lot of fun with my Spanish guests. And the cup??? In dos mil catorce there’s a new chance!

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Voodoo doll!

If you work in a restaurant with a lot of kids with dolls or puppets, it’s a great way to have fun. Imagine that you it’s a voodoo doll so everything the kid does, acts on you. If he stabs with a knife, you pretend having pain. If he kisses, you stroke away the kiss. (or rubb it in). If he tickles, you laugh. First they don’t see the interaction, but as soon as they see it, the fun and hilarity at the table is great! Greatly visualized in this ad of an Dutch insurance company!

(Foto by KhayaL – CC BY NC ND)

The last lecture

If you’re going to die and have only one last lecture to give, what would you say to your students?”  In fact it’s a hypothetical question asked, but Dr. Randy Pausch knows he hasn’t a long time to live any more. However, he doesn’t sink himself in self-agony. So much truths in one youtube-film. Watch, listen and learn!

“I am dying soon, but I am choosing to have fun, today, tomorrow and everyday I have left!”


The sixth sick sheikh `s sixth sheep `s sick

A nice way to entertain your guests and make them crazy are tongue-twisters. Print them out on a nice card and offer a cup of coffee when they succeed!

Betty Botter bought a bit of butter
The butter Betty Botter bought was a bit bitter
And made her batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter makes better batter.
So Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter
Making Betty Botter’s bitter batter better.

The 1st International Collection of Tongue Twisters has a lot of examples in various languages. One try? The Crazy CrazyWaiter is waiting on a crazy waiting guest!

The Butterfly Circus

Of course, sometimes we’re almost like circus artists, but that’s not why I posted this film. I know it has nothing to do with our work, but nevertheless I wanted to share it with you because it has everything to do with life in general and it’s simply beautiful.

Although I didn’t do it always like that, I start to believe that you are the only key to success. Life is what you make of it. This very inspirational film is all about that. You can only be a happy and successful crazy waiter when you believe in yourself and live life in a positive way!

During his travels a showman of a circus discovers a man without limbs at a carnival sideshow. This man is travelling along with the circus and becomes driven to hope against everything he has ever believed.

The Butterfly Circus – HD from The Butterfly Circus on Vimeo.

You can also buy the DVD at!

The secret pleasure of Four Seasons

Every waiter knows the secret pleasure of a waiter: hearing something that is not meant for you and taking action on it. Once on a hot day I heard a guest on 3 meters distant saying to a friend “Oh, I would die for a glass of water'”. Several seconds later I stood there with it. The water had cost € 1,50 but her face expression was priceless! (and of course you pretend not to see that reaction;))

Four Seasons, a hotel chain with luxury hotels (in Paris they have the fabulous George V) is also listening to her guests even while they’re not really talking to them. On TwitterA guy complained that the music in his room was very dull. I’m sure his face would be priceless when he came back to his room where the housekeeping left a bottle of wine and a kind letter with a list of all the radiostations attached.

Keep the secret pleasure alive! (and enjoy it….)