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Michel Roux’s Service
After a disappointing first episode, BBC TV’s ‘Michel Roux’s Service’ has improved dramatically in the intervening weeks as seven young hopefuls leave their somewhat irritating ‘whatever’ attitude behind them and embrace the contagious enthusiasm of mentor Michel.
In a week’s time we will find out which two trainees will be offered a work scholarship by the Academy of Food and Wine Service that will enable them to hone their newly found skills in the front-of-house arena.
"I'm not the only person who genuinely feels we have a problem with service in this country," says Michel. "And it's not just in restaurants; you can get bad service anywhere, even buying a newspaper you can find that you're not even acknowledged. There's no eye contact, no greeting or anything. You give them the money and they don't even say 'thank you'; it's dreadful.
"I think there has been a loss of respect through the generations and the issue of service in Britain is, maybe, a class problem with service seen as subservient – the old Upstairs Downstairs syndrome where it is only for the lower classes. Regardless of that, the core message of this series is that working front-of-house should be seen as a career path and a profession to be proud of, just as it is in France, Italy and Spain. I genuinely believe you can take great satisfaction from delivering great service. At any level, from a fast-food restaurant to a cafe to the fine-dining restaurants, as a paying customer you just know when service is good, and that's why we're putting it at the top of the menu."
Visit the Academy of Food & Wine Service’s website for more information about the series. The site also has supporting information about front-of-house including career advice, fact sheets on service, interviews with people involved with the programme, video blogs, training advice and comments from the industry.
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