Friday, November 7, 2008

A Breakdown of Tobyisms

In the fast paced world of food and beverage, I have come to rely on a smattering of "go-to" lines that I use on a regular basis. The guests of course see them as fresh and new and constructed just for them...,my staff however knows that they from a seemingly endless arsenal of cataloged Tobyisms and have (more often than not) taken to rolling their eyes in acceptance.

I.E.-when a familiar patron appears in the restaurant you may hear me greet them with "I thought it felt hotter in here" (insert eye rolling). Or a greeting with a question, "Is it as hard as it looks?" (reply with "what?") , "Looking that good." (insert eye rolling) or table side-"How is everything prepared tonight?" (reply-GREAT!), "Wonderful, in that case it is all MY doing, that's why I ask first you see, because if it was bad it was somebody elses doing and I would act accordingly".

But my favorite isms are reserved for the staff themselves, and while they hear them time and time again they never seem to tire.

I.E.-"pardon me hun, but the grownups are talking" or "I know your job is difficult, let me just call my friend who is busy trying to cure cancer and let him know your both on the same page".

But the number one is a rehearsed soliloquy that is all mine and still makes me giggle when in deploy it.

On a busy night I pick the busiest server. You know the one that has no time to stop and chat let alone revere in Tobyisms. I stop them mid stride-
"I need to see you in my office when this madness cools down"
They come to an abrupt halt. I might as well have said "you need to see the principal". reply-"Why, what did I do?"
soliloquy-"At this particular time, we feel that you and the restaurant are going in separate directions, (hand gesture of separation). We have no doubt that you have a bright future ahead of you, it's just not in food and beverage".

Please note that this person has done nothing wrong and on the contrary is handling themselves very well. Why then?
Quickly the server realizes that I have provided and opportunity for them to stop...catch their breath and thoughts...and coupled it all with a ridiculous joke. They are now able to see over the tall weeds a little clearer...and like I said-I get a kick out of being ridiculous.

What do I hope to accomplish with this grammar school mentality? I just want to point out that we need to stop, laugh, and stop taking our 4 hours of mad paced work too seriously. As they say-This too shall pass.

1 comment:

dontwant2move said...

My experience with Toby was at Ruby Hill Golf Club in the early 00's. I don't know if I'm supposed to "blog" about Toby or his writing, but I'll pick Toby. He was fun, funny and refreshing. I miss him!