Feel the Love: Emeril’s Customer Service Secrets Revealed

Emeril's 15 Commandments

Emeril's 15 Commandments: Captured on an iPhone--BAM!

I recently gained illicit possession of something that’s never before been seen outside the kitchen of the Original Emeril’s Restaurant in New Orleans, and I just can’t keep it secret. It’s too good to be true! It’s better than knowing what’s in Emeril’s Essence, or cracking Emeril’s confidential Cajun or Creole creations.

It’s Emeril’s 15 Commandments for Excellent Customer Service.

Oh, it’s hot. Spicy hot. For all us foodies out there who know first-hand how bad service can spoil the best dinner, now we’ve got the definitive training bible for (BAM!) great restaurant service, straight from TV-celebrity, CEO, and proprietor of thirteen restaurants, Emeril Lagasse.

I mean, these aren’t suggestions, these are Commandments. Not just 10 —15 of them! It’s like the Holy Grail of Great Service! It should be the blueprint for every restaurant owner that gets their greasy hands on it. It rocks! Or, as Emeril would say, “Aw, yeah, babe!”

I can’t decipher all of these trade secrets, but I’ve done my best. Please email me if you can crack the code on some of the more tricky ones:

Emeril’s Restaurant 15 Commandments

Hospitality. I’m SO glad Emeril made this pronouncement right up front. I am the customer! I am the guest! I feel empowered knowing that the wait staff is now enlightened of this revelation.

II. Salesmanship. Let’s face it: bigger checks mean bigger tips, as long as Commandment #1 is followed. When I ask, “What is Emeril’s specialty?” I now have the comfort of knowing it will be by far most expensive meal on the menu.

III. Name Recognition. Well, it’s about time! I feel like I know Emeril on a first-name basis; why shouldn’t his employees know mine?

IV. Communication. Wow, this is huge—just huge. Can we start with, “Are you ready to order, Trish?”

V. Man Your Post. You never know when an uprising of disgruntled diners may happen, especially when the kitchen runs out of the daily special. I wonder: Are the wait staff adequately armed for this potential danger? We’ll get to that later.

VI. Napkin Service. Those pesky little squares of fabric can flutter to the floor without warning. I can feel the love, now that I’m not the only one keeping an eye on my lap.

VII. Salt and Pepper Signals. While I can’t crack this one, if a waiter starts shaking the salt, it’s surely a secret sign to a fellow waiter to “kick it up a notch,” as Emeril would say. I’m going to keep an eye out for that one. Brilliant hand signal techniques from a seasoned chef – love it!

VIII. Educate the Customer. I usually fail at trying to appear chic, and would likely botch the wine pairing or mispronounce Emeril’s entrée, “Abbacchio O Capretto Brodettato” (Baby Lamb with Egg Sauce). I’m so relieved that they know I need to be educated. Stupidity is OK with Emeril – well, duh!

VIX. Eye Contact. It would be a shame to have eyes and not use them.  Unless you’re visually impaired. I’m glad he focused on that one.

X. Gang Service. I knew the secret to great service is not to discriminate! Emeril was onto it first. Probably those Crips demanded it. Maybe this is the real reason why more gangs are moving to New Orleans? It’s such a welcome place, especially at Emeril’s.

XI. Use Your Tools. This one has me stumped. Do the waiters at Emeril’s have special tools, besides the salt and pepper shakers, that I don’t know of? This may be related to Commandments V and X. I feel safer with this one tossed in.

XII. Service from the Right. Not sure how this works with booth seating, but generally, I get a crick in my neck looking for the waiter. Now I’ll know just to look right. Or is their right my left?

XIII. Service after the Sale. Aha! My intimate dinner date was a Sale! They made a Sale – a BIG Sale if they follow Commandment II. And I can’t bring it back, change sizes, or change my mind. I ATE the Sale! And now for paying, I get service. I am so grateful.

XIV. No complaint leaves the restaurant. What a relief that I can do all my complaining right at the table, without feeling like a crab. I’d better let my husband in on this one or he’ll complain about my complaints. I can’t wait to complain more!

XV. Training, mentoring and development. The sheer specificity of this last commandment has me in lyrical awe. I’m going to tip better just knowing that I’ll get a well-trained, well-mentored, well-developed person to meet my every gastronomical need.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: This is genius! It’s the Bill of Rights for we who pay the bill! But… it’s a secret, remember? I surreptitiously lifted these commandments when no-one—not even the Crips—were looking.

So next time you dine at Emeril’s, be careful not to give away these tasty tidbits of knowledge by always ordering the most expensive meal, looking to your right, dropping your napkin for fun, or fixating on the scary dudes at the next table.  Just know that you are in good hands, and enjoy your Al Forno while more informed at Emeril’s.

BAM!

About the Author

Trish

One Response to “Feel the Love: Emeril’s Customer Service Secrets Revealed”

  1. Really enjoyed reading this…definitely plan on sharing with my foodie
    sister-in-law and her husband.
    Don’t you love your Iphone? I do mine.

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