When you think of fine dining, you no doubt think about crisp linen tablecloths, delectable seven-course meals and a wine list that would take hours to read cover to cover. However, today's fine dining experience has evolved into a varied and exciting mix of dining concepts and cuisines.
That said, there are a number of fine dining requirements and traditions that will never change. These essential factors are what make the fine dining experience so special and that every restaurant should follow.
Creating The Right Atmosphere
From the lighting to the music and the acoustics to the decor, the atmosphere in any dining establishment is all about the detail. Subtlety is important, but that doesn't mean you have to stick with tradition. Long stem roses and classical music are big stalwarts of fine dining restaurants, but that doesn't mean you have to follow suit. Ambient music and contemporary tropical orchids would work just as well.
Your Servers Make The Experience
No matter what the concept or design of your restaurant, it is your servers that truly make the experience magical for your guests. The best servers are those who have excellent experience in the restaurant and hospitality trade and who also understand your menu and the many facets that make up your restaurant. All of your servers should be trained to give advice on wine suggestions, entree pairings and to memorise the specials menu without faltering.
Always Offer A Prix Fixe Menu
Most fine dining establishments offer a prix fixe menu that they offer on a weekly or daily basis. This rotating smaller menu gives the chef lots of creative freedom, allowing them to make the most of seasonal produce at the peak of their freshness and experiment outside of the a la carte menu.
Reservations Are Essential
In a fine dining environment, patrons will want to be seated further from other diners in order to create a more exclusive experience. By requesting customers place reservations, a restaurant can plan out its seating accordingly and also ensure that staff are not overwhelmed by a dinner rush.
Staying Abreast Of The Latest Trends
Food trends come and go and a good fine dining chef will have their finger on the pulse of the latest culinary fads to keep the menu exciting and fresh and also avoid them if they think they are not a good fit for the restaurant and its customers.