The world of cooking continues to evolve. No matter who you ask about cooking, all agree that those who stop learning and training remain stuck in the past. Cooking is an ever-changing industry that offers new techniques, new tastes and new ways of cooking. It is impossible for this evolution to occur in the kitchen if there isn't also a modernization of the space. If the food is great but the service is poor, it will not be as enjoyable as it should. To ensure everything runs smoothly, the living room should grow at the same pace as the kitchen.
Room work is for me the letter of introduction to a restaurant. It doesn't really matter how good your kitchen is, because if it isn't up to standard, it detracts and spoils everything else." Alberto de la Morena, the manager of Albanta Restaurant, Granada, says that it does not matter which kitchen you have. The restaurant started its journey on the Camino Purchil in 1982 by Manuel Adame, and has been there since 1986, at Sala Dos Hermanas Street. Manuel and Patricia de la Morena, the second generation of his family, ensure that the restaurant runs smoothly each day. It is crucial that the rooms are kept clean.
The kitchen is an important part of the business that has needed to expand a lot over the past few years. Manuel explains that the waiter is not just a plate carrier anymore, but an important figure. He explains that every waiter must be knowledgeable about cooking in order to be able explain the preparation of the dish and its ingredients. Because "the client requires it." The biggest change is not in digitization or modernization, but in the knowledge of workers. The future will be key: "Just like in the kitchen, constant education is required in the dining room. Teachers coming to demonstrate techniques and cooking trends... Professionalism is essential and people should be willing to learn.
Like in Albanta Restaurant they had to adapt their work to new times. However, they keep their traditional haircut. We like to look into the future, but there are some things we don't change. Silvia Alvarez is the manager and owner of Las Tinajas. She has been managing the family restaurant since 2005. Since I was a child, my life has been connected to the restaurant so I've been able see how things have changed. Customers now want a more personal and informal service.
This does not mean they are not looking for excellence. However, it does indicate that the service isn't as "corseted" as in the past. Silvia says that there was a boom years ago in the kitchen, and that a revolution is now coming to the dining area because work is more valued. She explains how "new experts", such as baristas, cocktail specialists, and ham cutters, are becoming very prominent. "Before they were dedicated to the hospitality industry, they did so because it was the only option. Now they do it because their passion for their work," which will allow the "room to continue growing and becoming more professional."
Digitization is one of the most important changes in restaurant room work. To offer a better service, electronic orders can be placed electronically through databases and their own networks. Alberto de la Morena explains that although technological advances may take some time to reach the hotel industry in the end, they are a major factor in their success. It was hard for us to adapt. It was like removing a plaster. We need to adapt." He said that the impact was "magnificent." They don't have to go from the dining room into the kitchen to order, but they also have access to a database that allows them to track what their customers eat, how often they visit, and what they order. This allows them to offer a more personal experience and treatment.
Silvia Alvarez and her brother, in Las Tinajas. / Ideal
Variation in the taste of diners is another factor that influences the changes in restaurant room service. A good wine, for example, is now more valued. Silvia Alvarez says that clients are looking for wine-centered experiences. Previously, they were only interested in Riojas and Riveras. But now, they want more. They want to know about the history and origins of wine, as well as the grape variety. This will give them a more comprehensive experience. This has forced room workers to learn, as "this requires substantial training." The ideal scenario is for all waiters to be trained to make the best wine and food recommendations. More experience and more professionals.