So, this is not a gripe, well perhaps it's a little one, it's more of a request, to the owners who employ, the managers who manage and all-importantly, the staff who work in any part (but mainly cafes) of the hospitality industry where tables need to be cleared.
Personally for me, working in the hospitality industry is a joy, I love it, it's so exciting. Working as a waiter back in the day, where turning tables not only ensured a higher tip pot at the end of the day, but also having the pride of being quick, fast and efficient and providing your customers with not just service, but actual hospitality was such an brilliant and challenging part of the job, and part of what I enjoyed so much.
However, the cafe format prevalent in the UK where we serve from a counter and then deliver the food to the table, or allow the guests to take it themselves, as opposed to Australia for example where they have section waiters, appears to allow staff to get away with 'standing' behind the counter and not completing the basic task of clearing tables at a minimum of within two minutes of the customer finishing their food/drink. This is, quite simply, not good enough.
If you work as a section waiter, you know that clearing the tables is a simple principle of your responsibilities and if you fail at this, you fail as a waiter.
If you work as a cafe staff member, you should also know that clearing tables is a simple principle of your responsibilities.
But it breaks my heart to see, so many times, places where this does not happen. For the owners who have invested so much, to the managers who are trying to manage and the service staff who simply, it appears, do not care.
At Kaffeine, our service staff have priorities which are instilled as part of the job description.
Priority one: Serve customers
Priority two: Clear tables and provide a glass of water
Priority three: Ensure our display is appetizing, clean and beautiful
Priority four: Restock your section (cutlery,crockery etc)
With up to three service staff working at any one time, we do not have any excuse not to fulfil these priorities and we work very hard to ensure we do not fall behind, even as one of the busiest cafes in the UK. If we ever do, please feel free to tell us.
Cafes are in the Hospitality industry. In this industry, we provide hospitality and we provide service, and it is a lot, lot more than just standing behind a counter having a chat to your mates. So please, put clearing tables at the top of your priorities and not only enjoy working in your industry, have some pride in it.
Please enjoy the menu for this week, because we have enjoyed putting it together and we will then enjoy serving it and clearing it from your table.
Traditional bircher muesli with rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.30
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses and rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.30
Fruit salad (pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passionfruit, peach) 3.50
(add 30 p for granola or yogurt)
Ciabatta roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 4.70
Ciabatta roll with courgette omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 4.70
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach & plum tomatoes 4.70
Croissant with gruyere cheese and plum tomatoes 3.90
Seven seed bakery bloomer toast with homemade preserves 1.70
Coffee, cherry and walnut toast 2.30
Banana bread 2.20
Porridge - Its back. Served with rhubarb and raspberry compote, chopped nuts, muscovado sugar, golden syrup or honey 3.00
Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissants 1.70
Pain au chocolat 2.30
Almond croissants 2.70
Plum and brown sugar sweet muffins 2.00
Tomato and mustard savoury muffins 2.00
Rose Hip friands 2.00
Super moist chocolate brownies 2.30
White chocolate blondies 2.30
Portuguese tarts 1.90
ANZAC cookies 1.70
Whoopie biscuits 1.70
Soup - Wild Boar and Alexander stew
French retro baguettes 4.70
Mushroom pate with spinach, slow roasted tomatoes and crushed peas
Pancetta, brie, grilled apricots and rocket
Foccacias with sea salt and rosemary crust 4.90
Ham, cranbery sauce, mature cheddar, rocket and chestnuts
Bufala mozzarella with tomatoes, red pepper pesto and spinach
Quinoa with roasted olives, orange segments, basil, toasted cashew nuts and rocket
Vietnamese chicken noodle salad with shredded carrots and celery
Roasted Crown Prince squash with goats cheese and cucumber dressing
Tart 4.00 or 6.90 with salad
Mushroom and tarragon