The founder of Protocol International recently told a Medgar Evers College audience that mastering fine-dining is an important part of establishing long, prosperous relationships.
“People are looking for cues from us to tell them who we are,” said Cheryl Walker-Robertson Protocol’s founder, referring to how one’s behavior at a fine-dining occasion tells someone everything they need to know about him or her.
It is also imperative that everyone in attendance is comfortable and taken care of, stated Robertson. She said the purpose of this is to leave best impression possible.
She explained that every second counts when you are trying to make an impression on someone at a fine-dining experience. She said that his or her impression of you will begin as soon as the first seven seconds.
Another thing important to fine dining Robertson stressed is knowing the anatomy of a restaurant and where everyone fits in. She said the host is in charge of everyone and has to make sure both the guests and the staff are treated with equal amounts of respect. Robertson claimed that if possible one should make reservations–which is sure to leave a good impression.
Robertson wanted to make sure the seminar understood how easily a person could make the wrong impression. He or she, for example, must know the difference between a waiter and busboy. She stated that a person must never ask a busboy for bread or water. This “shows you don’t understand the atmosphere.” She also stressed that one must tip bathroom attendants, valets and any other associated parties in order to make a good impression on the restaurant as well.
Robertson told the audience that they must know the difference between etiquette and protocol. She explained that protocol is the right thing to do, while etiquette is the right thing to do depending on the circumstances even if it is against the established protocols.
An example she gave of this was when she stressed that despite coming to a restaurant to eat what they want, it is proper etiquette to make sure guests pay around same amount of money for their meals. So you have to make sure they order the same kinds of food rather than something extravagant they might want.
Robertson cautioned the audience about what food they should eat in a fine-dining experience. She said that spaghetti while a popular dish should be avoided if at all possible. She claimed that no matter how much experience one has in fine dining spaghetti is just a messy dish and trying to stay clean to make a good impression while eating it is too much trouble.
“The least important thing about the fine-dining experience is the food,” said Robertson, as a person is there mainly to foster relationships. She told the audience they should eat before going to a restaurant for a fine-dining experience so they don’t order anything excessive.
About Tyler: Hello my name is Tyler Gabriel. I am an English major with a concentration in creative writing at Medgar Evers college. Some day, I would like to write my own fantasy or science fiction novel.
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