7 Tips to Eat Like a VIP, Everywhere You Go.....

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Well almost everywhere...

I want you to walk in your chosen establishment and eat "Like a BOSS." I want to help you get your way, right away, and be "that guy/gal." The one who has servers battling to serve you, the chef come out and visit your table and get happy about cooking for you. The one who doesn't simply go out to eat, but who has a dining experience everywhere you go.

This doesn't require any type of derrier kissing

Nor does it require you to prostrate yourself before the chef. It doesn't require name dropping or informing everyone you know the owner. (This actually is counter productive to your cool factor, everyone in the building "knows the owner" he signs the paychecks, he's the boss, we know him too!!)

  • You don't have to be a friend of a friend, a self proclaimed foodie or food critic.
  • You don't have to be a part of an "in crowd",
  • You simply have to be cool, nice, and be ready to have a good time!!

Let me drop some tips on you:

1) Be Nice to your host or hostess

The first person you will encounter is the host and/or hostess, they are supposed to be nice to you, be nice to them. If the place is packed and your reservation is going to take a minute, be cool and agree to get a drink at the bar, they'll remember that and work to seat you asap. They will let everyone know if you are curt or rude and this will directly affect your dining experience, as everyone will be on the defensive, because they will think you're mad already! Instead be cool, nice and you'll see, you're evening will progress very nicely!

2) Your server is your ally

NO ONE and I MEAN no one in the entire restaurant is more interested in you having a great meal as a good server! They WANT you to eat well and be happy, in fact, they need you to and their gratuity depends on it. This dependence on your gratuity does not mean they are subservient or willing to put up with BS. Be nice and they will work at making your experience memorable.

I cant tell you how many times a night I have my good servers say to me:

Chef, I have a guest at table such and such and they're real cool, can you stop by and say hi?
or
Chef I have a regular at table such and such and they want to talk to you --
they're cool, really nice, love the place and want to chat about the food, can you drop by?

I will tell you if I am super busy or it's a hectic night, that wont happen. However, your server will wait for the right opportunity to come and ask me, if not they will remember you and make it so next time.

3) Let your server know your interests

They will look out for you! Ask about the food, ingredients and preparation. Don't ask questions to simply seem like you're a foodie, don't be snooty!! You really don't want to seem snobby or problematic. Is it really necessary to ask about the eating habits of your cow, followed by a long discourse of your amazing intellect and choices, whether the cow got massaged at noon daily, or the cycle of the grain feed, the cows name, if it likes slow walks on the beach!!

You should know where your food comes from, feel free to ask, just please don't be a snob about it! If you only eat fish from the Southern most Easternly point of the left side of the 95* bank of the ocean floor--STAY HOME, no one serves it!

Do ask about your product- I'm OK with that. I have nothing to hide, as a matter of fact, I'm super proud of where I source my food. If you show enough interest, your server will come to the kitchen, let the staff know and someone will typically come out and get to know you. Disclaimer- if it's a super busy Friday night, it might not happen for you right of the bat, but they will catalog you as the cool table and you will see the rewards of that.

4) Chefs LOVE to talk about food, talk to us!

It's why we are chefs!! If you're genuinely interested and want to chat or simply get to know the chef, ask. If I come to your table and your cool, nice and having a good time, MAN will I get excited. We can and will chat about food, what you like or something neat you saw or tried somewhere. This WILL open up a world of cool happenings. We get excited will ask you to try this new thing here, a small bite there or show you this new idea....it happens daily! I want to cook for you, so make it easy for me! Once this relationship is started, its pretty neat. When I see you in my dining room, I'll stop by and ask how you are, what you want to eat, maybe I'll recommend you try something. If i have time, I will bring you something. DON'T make the mistake of EXPECTING it or DEMAND it. This will shut all niceties down!

Please understand this can't happen every single time. Sometimes we are unavailable, it's a hectic and chaotic world. It might be a simple quick visit more than an in depth one, but it will be good. You're server will let me know you are here and I will make sure you have a great time, even if I can't come by immediately.

5) Let us tell other chefs you're cool

Chefs talk to each other like you do to your friends about your experiences. If you tell me you are thinking of visiting another chef's restaurant and your one of my cool, nice customers, I will shoot them a text or a call and let them know you are coming. I might even ask if they can do something nice for you. I won't demand it and I don't take advantage of it. Most of my colleagues are just like me and will want to make your dining experience just as memorable, plus we want you to go back and report how awesome our food is as well! Chefs will call me or text me and let me know when one of their favorite customers is coming in and I always make it a point to stop by the table, say hello and make sure dinner is perfect.

6) DON'T EXPECT the hookup!

My purveyors expect to be paid for their product, the owners expect to make money from their business and my staff needs to be paid! We will provide an amazing experience, never take advantage of you and expect you to pay. Typically a amuse here or a small bite there is on me. If you require something specific or have a meal prepared just for you, please be prepared to pay for it. It's cool, I pay for all my meals everywhere I go to as well!!

7) Last but not least, get to know the floor managers, bartenders and GM.

These guys will go out of their way to recognize and take care of you.

Understand I can't speak for every establishment in the world, these tips are general and may highly increase your chances of VIP service. If you come see me, ask for me. If I can, I will come by and get to know you. After all, I want and need you leave fat and happy!

--Chef Leo