“Hospitality is not chocolate chip cookies,” says Bobby Stuckey, master sommelier and owner of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colorado. “We can’t be the same with every table.”
Frasca is consistently acknowledged as one of the best dining experiences in America, and it’s Bobby’s job to make sure that each member of his team is contributing to that reputation. Every table, whether they’re a couple celebrating an anniversary or a group of diners having a casual dinner, requires a different approach from Frasca’s team to craft a memorable experience.
When it comes to hospitality, there is no recipe and no method that works day in and day out for every single guest. However, there are universal ingredients that Bobby and the team at Frasca mix every night to create a hospitable atmosphere for their diners.
At any given time in a restaurant’s life, the front-of-house team is comprised of people that fall into one of three categories: the newbies who have just been hired, the in-betweeners who have some tenure, and the long-timers who have worked at the restaurant for an extended period. Managers are responsible for ensuring that all three groups work together as a cohesive unit, maintaining and exceeding the caliber of service that was set as a baseline during training.
Keeping a team’s hospitality sharp can be challenging for managers and owners, but Frasca has created a program that sets the bar for new hires while adding to their tenured employee’s existing knowledge. Here’s how it works.