“Feast on Fests”

The Palate Fest, Mini Palate, The GIG Carnival, The Grub Fest, The Asian Hawkers Market-if you are from Delhi NCR, chances are you have been to at least one of these in the recent past and if you haven’t been you would have most certainly heard these names float up during conversations with your foodie friends or with people who just went there to be seen;). Either way by now you know what I am talking about.

So picture this-30 to 40 of the best  restaurants serving their signature dishes, a fully stacked bar, live performances by some better known bands, all done in one place which logistically takes care of all of the above mentioned ingredients. Seems like a great combination- a place that you must visit, a place where you would have a great evening-I mean it has it all right-good food, alcohol, music and at times a great outdoor setting.

Well I wish that my above statement was a 100 % true. Now there is no doubt that these fests(if I may call them that) have changed things up for the people of Delhi NCR- it has given us a new form of recreation(weren’t we all bored of the same thing to do every weekend), some great food all in one place(the ability to have some Sushi and then hop on the next stall and have the Pork Bao and end it with a sinful plate of waffles  is every foodie’s delight), you could sip on a drink while walking around the place scoping the next thing you would devour  and  you can sprawl yourself on the grass and enjoy the band that’s performing on stage.

However I personally feel that this experience can be enhanced many folds.

Food: Now I don’t think anyone can question the variety on offer, from stand alone restaurants to signature restaurants at five star hotels to the small café that belts out the most amazing cheesecake-they are all there, but here is my problem-why in god’s name are you giving me gigantic/regular portions of whatever you have. The entire purpose of an event like this is for me as an individual to enjoy multiple places for their food offerings. I haven’t gone all the way to eat at one place and then be like, “You know what I am stuffed”, I mean if I wanted to do that wouldn’t I have just visited the restaurant. Mini portions, sliders, bite sized meals would do much much better. Secondly, chances are I have visited your restaurant before and I have had or seen what you have to offer on a regular basis. Now I am visiting you in a different setting so why not offer something new to me, something different, something that I haven’t seen on your menu before.

Alcohol: Just one problem-don’t charge me 400 bucks for a pint of beer. I get it that you want to make some money but hey, don’t make me start counting my money after just two pints of beer and without getting into the back end of it, I am pretty sure it is something that can be done without many people losing money;).

The Music: At the Mini Palate Fest recently the entire group of us were holding our ears shut because the guy was belting out songs, out of tune and at the GIG Carnival when the guy was singing on stage it was more like ambient music (more or less insignificant). Now we don’t expect all the acts to be mind-blowing but maybe have one of two acts that make you go-“That was great”, it does not necessarily have to be something that is commercially popular but just something that catches your ear, maybe something you have never heard before-new sounds, different sounds. Unfortunately I haven’t heard anything like that at any of the fests till now.

The Setting: The first Palate fest happened on the side of Nehru Park that is really beautiful and pretty, the old trees, the wide spread area enhanced the entire experience of the event. The recent Mini Palate happened on the opposite side of Nehru Park-which looked more like the park outside my house where I grew up 🙂 .The GIG Carnival happened at the area outside the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium and looked more like a mela. All I am getting at here is that if you are doing an event like this- do it in a place that actually adds to the experience and does not bring down from the experience.

All in all these festivals/fests/fests are most certainly here to stay and they are also a step in the right direction, not only for the people who attend these but also for the multiple outlets that put up their stalls-it’s a great opportunity for them to express themselves as a brand. Let’s just hope that with the passage of time they manage to get these things right as well 🙂

And if you haven’t been to one yet…Get your lazy ass up and make sure you go to the next one 🙂

Kanav Mata

Foodie, Tippler, Hotelier, Restauranter and Hospitality Trainer


“The Magnetic Cocktail”

It was about a year ago at almost the same time, I have vivid memories of a dear friend showing me multiple videos on his phone, of music artists playing some crazy ass music, in an almost surreal setting – a beautiful palace in Rajasthan. And that’s when I had decided to not miss it the following year.

Cut to about a week back – my bags were packed and I was ready to brace the cold and above all – pitch my own tent 🙂 and experience Magnetic Fields 2015! We were a group of 15 of us (all convinced by ONE couple who went last year 🙂 ) who were all visibility excited. It would be fair to say that out of the 15 of us travelling together, there were just a few who knew what kind of music to expect from the festival, the rest were there for the experience more than anything else.

A 45 minute drive from Sadalpur (yes, I had also never heard of it before) gets you to Alsisar – the venue for the festival. The highlight of the drive was Bullet (pronounced as ‘Bult’) a super strong beer which had people singing and dancing after just a few sips :). The venue was beautiful –“Alsisar Palace”-the main grounds where the festival was happening had an imposing yet elegant feel to it. “The Bedouin Village” – a rather huge expanse of sand, where the tents had been setup, looked more than ready to welcome its occupants for the next three days.

The levels of excitement were on its peak, on the first day, and since we were there we wanted to make the most of it. There were some of us who preferred to sleep it out and conserve their energies for the evening whilst there were some who were mentally prepared that sleep is not something that we would be focusing on for the next three days :). The festival had three main stages:

  • One was located at the Bedouin Tent Village and played music from about 1200 to 1600 hrs in the afternoon
  • The second was in the garden area of the palace and played music from 1600 till about 2300 hrs
  • The third was in an open atrium kind of a structure in the palace and played music from 2300 till the wee hours of the morning

On different days the setup would shift to secret areas within the palace, like “the dungeon”, “poolside” or the “chill garden”- a fantastic idea I must say.

Day 1 seemed a little drab in terms of the music; I think the only thing that kept us going was the excitement and the fact that it was something new – having said that I still remember returning to my tent at 0400 hrs in the morning 🙂

Day 2 had a surprise in store for us at 1400 hrs at the stage located in the Bedouin Tent Village the schedule said “A Very Special” guest would be playing and boy was he special. “Soulclap” played for about a couple of hours and he had people bouncing, swaying and jumping to his happy tunes. So much so that we have a friend who does not get on to the floor till the time Bollywood is pumped-this guy was jamming to Soulclap for about an hour. When his set was over he goes he exclaimed “I’m calling this guy to play for my anniversary and all of you are also invited”. That literally had us in splitsJ. The music in the evening on Day 2 was better than the first day with “Objekt” belting out some good tunes but still I felt something was missing. This was ratified by the couple who attended the festival last year, they said that by the second day they were jumping on the floor-the music was that good. Once again all of that aside I returned to my tent at 0600 hrs.

Day 3 we decided to take it a little easy and wandered out to eat some local Rajasthani food. In the evening we decided to sit by our tents, light a bonfire and more or less spend the evening there rather than going to the palace grounds. It seemed to be a good call as we were all having a fantastic time. It also gave us the opportunity to make some new friends and connections with a people who were staying right next door. The evening seemed to be just perfect – lots of alcohol, some drinking games, some sentimental bonding, and a surreal setting – what more could you ask for. Actually you could ask for more :)! A few us decided to walk into the palace grounds just to see what was happening, .We reached the palace grounds and the garden stage was packed to capacity and an artist by the name of “Garden City Movement” was playing. All it took was five minutes for us to be transported to a completely different zone – we could not wipe the smile of our faces and stop moving, the same was the case with the next artist “HVOB”. It prompted us to quickly call the rest of the clan to the palace grounds and for the first time in the three days we were all together and each and every one of us was actually enjoying the music. Irrespective of whether we had heard this kind of music before, Irrespective of whether we had heard the name of the artist before, Irrespective of what our tastes in music were-everyone was having a BLAST. It was only then that I realized the power of music – the amazing ability that it had to bring everyone together :). Our friend who dragged us for this music festival called that moment as “Redemption” for himself because he was no longer feeling guilty about getting everyone to attend this music festival.

The closing set of the festival was played by “BLOT”- I have heard them a couple of times before in Delhi and always knew that they were good, but I never knew that they were very, very, very, very, very good :). They played a five hour set starting at 0300 till 0800 hrs – words to describe this set by BLOT are not enough.  A friend put it very rightly – “They got the crowd together with a couple of commercial well known tracks, once they had everyone’s attention it was like they were making a statement – This is what we are capable of”.

It was three days of sheer madness-a fantastic cocktail with the right ingredients (the place, the people, the music) in the right quantity, shaken for the right amount of time and served in the best possible glass with the most beautifully done garnish. 🙂

For all those who haven’t been-give this one a shot-no amount of hearing about it from others or reading write-ups like this will prepare you for what is in store. They say that such experiences can only be “felt”. If nothing else you will come back as someone who can bear the cold better. 🙂

Well done Magnetic Fields!!

Kanav Mata

Dreamer, Hotelier, Restauranter and Hospitality Trainer

Would You???

A recent trip to South East Asia -Cambodia, ignited certain pertinent thoughts that had already been in my head for a while now – this just made it stronger; strong enough to write about it.

Cut to Sihanoukville – a lovely beach destination in Cambodia which has its mix of peace, serenity, the happening shacks, watersports, some mind-blowing food and HAPPY Pizzas 🙂

The bus dropped us off at the main city centre and within minutes of us unloading our luggage, a foreigner came up to us (couldn’t figure the origin – but seemed to be Eastern European), holding out pamphlets for a “Zeppelin” hostel/dorm at 5$ a night, not something that we were particularly interested in.

We eventually checked in to a nice hotel that fit our budget and ticked all the other boxes for us. It was around 2100 hrs and we decided to visit the beach. While walking to the beach a British girl (very evident from the accent), rather excitable and jumpy walked, no ran up to us and went “Are you guys going to the beach”, and to our affirmative response, “Please visit Dolphin shack, we have a party all night there today, oh and get a free drink when you present this flyer” – she said to us while handing each one of us a flyer.  We thought to ourselves, “damn! We are lucky – free drinks”, and that was for the three of us, while the fourth was already in love with her! Anyway, while walking down the beach we crossed multiple shacks (just like our very own Goa), and what caught my eye was the fact that majority of these shacks were being run by foreigners (ranging from Italian, French, Australian to even people from the United States). In front of some of the shacks were signage’s reading “Western staff wanted – will give food, accommodation and hourly wage”.

Cut to Koh Rong – a 45 minute boat ride from Sihanoukville and arguably one of the most beautiful beach destinations I have seen in my life – white sand, pristine blue waters – a feeling of calm the moment you set foot on that island.

At Koh Rong, you get off the boat and either you walk to the left of the island or the right – and you will find plenty of places to stay – ranging from dorms, hostels to fancy bungalows.

We got off the boat and once again -approached by foreigners, all offering us a place to stay, walked down the length of the beach and again noticed the same thing- in fact here all the shacks were run by foreigners. Came out for a drink in the evening- and had these Australian boys manning the bar at one shack, you could make out that they were new at their job as complex orders made them struggle (also my rather annoying habit of maybe scrutinizing that little bit extra when it comes to anything related to food & beverage). Stopped for ice cream at the beach- a small little operation run by an extremely enterprising French gentleman, 0400 hrs extreme hunger pangs- the island has only one place that serves food and alcohol 24/7 (the food was to die for) run by an Italian couple.

By now I think you would have some idea of what I am getting at over here.  The five days that I spent at Sihanoukville and Koh Rong, and the multiple conversations at these shacks with the foreigners, gave me further insight. These guys had been here for a while- anything ranging from a month to maybe even a few years. They came with some savings and maybe with a plan to stay for a month, invariably no one did that-they all stayed on longer. The issue with staying on longer was not something like the Visa- Cambodia lets you get an extension-no questions asked, it was the fact that they had probably exhausted their savings. So now what to do?? Simple let me find a way to make some money and get a roof on my head, get some food to eat and still have a good time here. So where do they turn to-the shacks, the bars, the eating joints-cos hey-that’s where the money is (all tourism), start doing odd jobs over there and hence begins the trend which was up in all its glory for us to see. So much so that now some of them visit these places with the sole purpose of working at shacks, bars, eating joints for brief periods of time-just to get away, a change of scene, something different.

You know the part which amazed me the most- they all seemed happy with what they were doing and trust me they were not faking it. They were mostly doing jobs which were related to the hospitality sector and if you don’t enjoy it-this is one job you can’t do, whether its serving people, selling rooms, promoting a party and so on and so forth. They always had a smile, they were always willing to strike conversation and never in my short stint there did I see a foul experience or a disgruntled customer

I then asked myself a question- “Would I be willing to do this” – I still haven’t found an answer. A couple of friends who I was travelling with went like “I also really want to do this”, “I am going to do this for sure”-B****S****, the people in question also know that it ain’t going to happen. No offence to my friends in question here, but if you guys do actually end up acting on your word- Good on you.

In my head I still trying to figure out- what is it that’s holding me back? I actually seem to be the perfect candidate for something like this- I have no one who is dependent on me, fending only for myself, I have enough prior experience of the hospitality industry to handle any of these jobs with ease. So what is it that holds me back- is it our culture, is it the way we are brought up, is it what we see around us, is it rigidity, is it job security, or is it just me – I don’t know

So give it a thought,

Would you???

Kanav Mata

Dreamer, Hotelier, Restauranter & Hospitality Trainer

Service Recovery-“Turning a threat into an opportunity”

The other day my mother and I were alone at home and my stomach sent me signals for some lip-smacking oriental food. So I picked up the phone and dialled in my favourite (and very reputed) oriental restaurant in Gurgaon. This would have probably been the tenth time that I was ordering food from this place, and by my past experiences I know for a fact that this restaurant always seems to get it right. So everything was in place with the food chosen and the order placed, which was pleasantly taken in a polite, respectable and professional manner. While closing the call the order taker did promptly inform me that the food would take about 45 minutes – something, which I was expecting.

An hour had passed and there was no sign of the food… my mom even came and asked me if we were getting dinner the same day or the next!? In my mind I was giving them the benefit of doubt (maybe because I just loved the food they served) that maybe the delivery guy had lost his way, or maybe because they’re really packed with orders. However, I called them up again to check and the response was “Our delivery boy is already on the way, Sir, allow me to check with where he has reached and get back to you”. I patiently waited for him to call back for about ten minutes – which eventually did not happen –forcing me to make the call again. This time the response was “Sir, I am trying to get in-touch with our delivery boy but his phone is not reachable”. This situation carried on for about the next half an hour – by which, it was way past mom’s dinner time, leaving her growling stomach with no option but to look for whatever food there was at home. It had now been almost an hour and 35 minutes since the order had been placed.

Within the next five minutes I got a call from the Manager – a well spoken man who knew what the problem was, and immediately apologized, speaking the truth “We are still in the process of locating the delivery boy sir, I am extremely sorry, and we will not be charging you for this meal” (not that this was very important but nonetheless) Finally after a couple of minutes, the manager called back to tell me that they had been able to get in touch with the delivery boy and he would be at my doorstep in the next five minutes – and so it was.

Was I upset – yes, was I angry – no, not anymore. I tried to figure out in my head what it was that had kind of calmed me down eventually, because at the end of the day the food was delayed by over an hour, and throughout I was kind of kept in the dark about where it was. Did it have to do with the fact that it was my favourite restaurant and I was cutting them some slack – maybe, maybe not?

However, something that had definitely helped in a positive way was the manager calling me. Now, he was not some magician – after all he said the exact same things that the order taker was saying to me. But there were two things that stood out – ownership and the attempt to recover a situation.

Ownership of the fact that, yes, we have screwed up and that we are sorry about it, and the attempt to recover a situation that has gone wrong. Having managed numerous restaurants myself, -I know how easy it is to pass the buck by asking your order taker to “just handle it” with the typical “if you can’t locate the delivery boy then how will I?”

As far as I look at it the manager did the following correctly; He empathized with me and the situation  , He apologized (it felt genuine), He offered urgent re-instatement-doing something about it, there was some form of symbolic atonement-in this case waving the bill off and finally a follow up-he called a little later to apologize once again and enquire if the food was up to the mark.

They say that customers actually become more loyal after recovery (that is, of course, if done in a proper way). Most people are actually scared to approach the guest when something goes wrong – hell! Just give it a shot! The other person is also human and what’s the maximum that he will do? Maybe shout, rant or scream? So, let him vent it out… it’s far better than someone not attending to a situation that has gone wrong. Whenever I’m training my Food and Beverage associates, I make it a point to tell them that we all make mistakes – after all they need to understand that no one’s  restaurant will ever be perfect – there will always be issues, and hence there will always be complaints. What is going to probably set you apart or differentiate you from the rest is how you handle the situation/the complaint or how you recover – that’s an art which is slowly being forgotten.

So, after all this, the question arises – will I order food from this restaurant again – Yes! Most definitely! Is it because I love the food they serve? Yes! Or is it because they screwed up but I really admired the way they recovered the situation – Hell Yeah!!!

Kanav Mata

Customer, Hotelier, Restauranter and Hospitality Trainer

Getting The Basics Right-Part III-“Tring Tring”

A happy voice and a pleasant tone saying “Good evening I am ——–, how may I assist you?” – it’s been eons since I heard that when I called up a food establishment, to place an order, for home delivery.

It was just the other day, that I happened to call up a reputed (American fast food) brand to order for home delivery, and the guy at the other end went “Hanji Sir, boliye”.  Not that I have anything against the use of our mother tongue, but it’s something I would expect if I was calling up a “Sanjha Chula” to place an order. I started the conversation in English but soon figured that if I carried on like that, I’d actually get nowhere, so yes – I ended up ordering my burgers (with exotic names) all in Hindi!

The fact that the conversation was not in English bothers me for sure, because it’s an expectation that I associate with a particular brand. Not only does the language bother me but also the manner in which the order was taken. The entire order-taking process – of just ordering some burgers actually took me about 12- 14 minutes – and to add to that, in that span I also did end up talking to three guys for the same! To make it worse, I was put on hold several times and somehow just did not get what they were saying. During the conversation I don’t know when the confusion began, so much so that by the end of it the guy on the other end managed confusing me as well!!

Once again I re-iterate it’s the basics: listen first (rather than interrupting), write down the order somewhere (for God’s sake, don’t rely on your memory), repeat the order (once the customer is done ordering, not like a parrot after each item is said by the customer), ask the customer if they would like anything else, mention the time taken to reach your home and finally re-confirm the bill amount. Not to forget if all of this is done with a SMILE :), the face muscles won’t ache too much.

I know there are establishments that have centralized their order taking, but it’s not like they are any good as well. I try to figure out the reasons in my head: is it that they haven’t been trained, or they have been trained but don’t follow, or they just don’t have the bandwidth?  There are no periodic checks, no one is supervising and to be honest, I have no idea what it could be! It’s the same story of getting those basics rights because as a customer too, we don’t want much, apart from the basics! 🙂

Watch this space for more!

Kanav Mata

Customer, Hotelier, Restauranter and Hospitality Trainer

“The Happening Haunt”

The party scene in Delhi NCR has truly evolved over the past few years – from a select few nightclubs in star hotels, to a plethora of standalone nightclubs/bars/pubs/resto-bars – today we are spoilt with choice. What’s more – now both Delhi and Gurgaon have their own party hubs; HKV and Cyberhub, where one can start their evening at an inexpensive place (in order to get the alcohol levels right in the system without burning a hole in your pocketJ), hop on to different genres of music and probably end their night listening to some soulful Sufi tracks. All this in one place – sounds awesome doesn’t it?

So, what is it that makes a particular nightclub/bar/pub/resto-bar, (I actually don’t know what to call them hence the multiple names :), so to make things easier henceforth I’ll refer to them as haunts) the most happening place in Delhi NCR? Could it be the music, the events they do, the crowd, or the pricing? Well yeah, there is no doubt that all this contributes, but you know what? Sadly that’s not what makes it the most happening place! To be the most happening place, first and foremost you have to be NEW!!! Then you have to have an air of snootiness around you (essentially you create an imaginary one). With these two essential boxes ticked, you my friend, could be eligible to be called the most happening haunt in Delhi. Reasons for this being obvious: who in Delhi NCR would not want to be seen at the new place that’s popped up? And more importantly, upload a picture on Social Media, because you sure as hell, want the world to know that you managed to get into the most happening haunt! That’ll increase your social quotient by notches in an instant! 😉 It’s this hype that, sorry to say, we as customers create and make a haunt the most happening one; and that’s where the problems arise.

They take advantage of us, us the ‘ever so poor and gullible customer’. Once a haunt knows that it’s succeeded in becoming the most happening place in Delhi NCR, according to them, they have achieved Nirvana. They feel that now the customer is not important to them and hence can be treated with utter disdain and still nothing – absolutely nothing can be done to them!. Here are  a few things they usually do:

  • Restrict entry: Before I expand further, I am fully in support of crowd profiling in order to ensure that your haunt builds a good reputation and you let the right kind of people in. But I’d like to know the point of not allowing people in, even when your place is not full up to its capacity? Maybe, you are in your right to do this when there are stags, but with couples? (like WTF?) The other day I ended up reaching one of these so called ‘happening haunts’ in Delhi about half hour after the rest of my group (it was around 23:15 hrs). On reaching the gate the bouncer rather politely refused us entry and went “Sorry Sir, entry closed”. I tried explaining to him that I had a couple of friends waiting inside and he refused to listen! On hearing his “Sorry Sir, entry closed” line a couple of times, I requested him if I could have a word with the Manager to which I got a stern “Sorry Sir. He is busy”. I called up my friends who were already inside, hoping that would help,; but that didn’t change his reply. The friend I was with, told me that the last time she did this she was 20, and neither of us should bother begging people to allow us in. I fully agreed with her and just as we were about to leave, a friend of mine who knew the manager through a friend managed to haggle it out, and we finally entered. By then it was midnight and the guy at the bar promptly went, “Last Order”! The funny part here was, that from the gate I could see that the place was not full to its capacity, so I really didn’t understand what they were trying to establish by refusing entry to not only me, but another 10- 15 odd people, who were waiting outside.
  • Getting a drink: Just when you thought getting to the most “happening” haunt in Delhi NCR was the tough part, you’re proven otherwise. Getting a drink, that night, was almost as difficult as scaling Mt. Everest for me! Looking back now, I feel, I should have planned it better!  And that’s what places here expect us to do, decide who’d be going to go get the drink – do you think he will serve a girl faster, or maybe knowing the bartender would help because if he recognizes you, he’ll serve you faster? There are quite a lot of mind games attached. So let’s get a couple of things straight:                                  Bartenders are not doing me a favour by serving me a drink! I’m paying for it and hence you better serve it to me with a smile. Yes, the bar is crowded, but again there is a way of handling customers at the bar. And making a grumpy face or completely ignoring customers when they are standing at the bar asking you for a drink – definitely doesn’t help. It’s your job to serve me that drink, not my job to beg you for one.. If you smile and serve me, it’s not going to cost you much! Just because you man the bar, behind Delhi NCRs most happening club, you are not God’s gift to mankind!
  • Serving “ONLY” Premium brands: Don’t we all know that this is the oldest trick in the book? You go to the bar and ask for an IMFL brand of liquor; chances are the bartender will say that it’s not available. So you then you ask him what he has, and chances are the reply will include premium brands which will obviously burn a hole in your pocket! I’m quite sure if I pick up the menu of that place, they’ll have all the domestic brands listed on it, so why fool us by saying it’s not available? I do get the fact that you want to make A LOT of money, but this, my friend, is downright cheating!

But you know what? This title of being the most ‘happening’ haunt is very short-lived. It changes hands rather fast and I feel that if these ‘haunts’ manage to get some of the above mentioned things right, then maybe, just maybe, they’d get to keep that crown on their head for a wee bit longer!

Kanav Mata

-Customer, Hotelier, Restauranter and Hospitality Trainer

Customer Service Basics: “What Restaurants in Delhi NCR are not getting right”-Part II

“May I have some water, please?”

I still remember my early days at catering college: Food and Beverage Practical Class where the module was ’Service of Water’. I remember thinking to myself as to what they’d teach us about serving water that I probably wouldn’t already know about, considering how simple the topic sounded. However, it’s been over ten years now and till date I haven’t forgotten what that one class taught me: Serve from the right, right food forward, left hand behind the back, pour with a steady flow, leave a gap of an inch and hold position for two seconds. This was the technical part of it and is still etched in my head. But what really stuck out was the way my F&B faculty actually explained the importance of ‘Serving Water’. He asked us all a simple question – what’s the first thing that you offer anyone when they come to your house? Quite a few people answered in unison, “water, water”. What he managed to do at least for me was to get the point across loud and clear, that “water is a basic need, which we must fulfill even before the guest asks for it”.

“May I have some water, please?” – is a question that I am having to ask way too often, when I enter a restaurant, these days. And it’s not like I sit, and before I can breathe, I ask for water; I give them their time, they offer the menu even maybe take the beverage order, and it’s then that I know that they’re not going to get me water unless I actually ask for it. It bamboozles me and in my mind I’m left asking myself, “what’s the deal?, have they been asked not to serve water until the guest asks or have they plain and simple forgotten.” I’m pretty sure it’s the latter because ‘hopefully’ no restaurant in their right mind would tell its associates to only serve water when the guest asks for it!

Then there are restaurants where I would get served water when I sit down but my glass getting refilled without me asking for it is like my boss giving me a holiday without me even asking for it!-Very rare

As a customer, this wasn’t something I had paid much attention to earlier, as I am not in the ‘drink eleven glasses of water everyday’ category. It was only when a friend who was particular about all of this, pointed it out a few times at multiple restaurants, when I actually started to pay heed and be more observant about this. And she was right! This was not a one off phenomena, but instead occurred quite regularly.

I also have an issue with a barrage of questions to ascertain water preference:

Q1. Would you prefer regular or bottled water?

Q2. Would you prefer room temperature or chilled?

Q3. Would you prefer still or sparkling?

All this just to serve me water which according to me is a need, more than a want?! Whatever happened to, “May I offer you a bottle of chilled water?” And if I do want otherwise, I will specify, but please, oh please, don’t put me through this ordeal for water!

I don’t think the rules of the game for ’Service of Water’ have changed since I graduated from catering, and there is really no rocket science behind this one. But as I mentioned, it’s the basics of service that restaurants in Delhi NCR are not getting right and this is just another one of them – although it’s a little more technical in nature but equally important.

Watch this space for more!

Kanav Mata

Customer, Hotelier, Restauranter and Hospitality Trainer