Sydney’s food service is ruined by rude hipster culture


HIPSTER hospo staff too superior to serve customers makes Melbourne and even Adelaide more palatable dining destinations. A food critic said Sydney’s food scene lacks the much sought-after professionalism. Do you agree? Vote in our poll.

HIPSTER hospo staff that are too superior to serve customers makes Melbourne and even Adelaide more palatable dining destinations – but customers can be part of the problem.

Australian newspaper food critic John Lethlean has dined across the country for over 20 years and said Sydney’s food scene lacks “much sought after professionalism.”

“You can get really poor service in Sydney, even in a fairly expensive place,” he said.

“There is a certain type of waiter who feels the need to identify with a tribe they call the ‘hospo’. They are often hipsters who express the need to defend their career choices.

Mr Lethlean said servers overseas knew how to work “without a chip on the shoulder”.

“Italians and other Euros don’t feel the need to identify as ‘hospo’ but a lot of inadequate Anglo-Australians do,” he said.

Tourism expert David Beirman said Sydney was lagging behind because of the attitude.

“I’ve been to pretty much every state capita in the country and think it’s probably fair to say that the Australian city with a great restaurant culture is Melbourne followed by Adelaide,” M said. . Beirman.

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Hospitality expert Sunny Matheru has run restaurants in Sydney and London for 20 years and has warned that professional service is “a dying art” with waiters often treating customers like friends rather than customers.

“Your guest is not your mate… there’s this level of camaraderie going on in restaurants and cafes right now, which is a culture that has kind of happened over the last five years or so. It’s a little too sweet, ”Matheru said.

Catalina Rose Bay owner Michael McMahon told the Daily Telegraph that over the past 40 years he has always put the customer first, but newcomers to the industry weren’t always on top of things. OK.

“There’s a lot of people out there who think the laid back service is like ‘how are you doing?’ and serving bread on bare tables without side plates is acceptable, ”he said.

Momofuku Seiobo executive chef Paul Carmichael said the service is about how a customer feels afterward.

“I’m not the type of person who needs to be swooned and treated like a child, but some people just love that, all this attention,” he said.

“Food and service go hand in hand. Great restaurants have both.

But Laura Henry, 25, who works at the BangBang Cafe in Surry Hills, said sometimes the front desk staff could seem rude if they were very busy.

“If you’re paying for a coffee, you want to be spoken to nicely, but then again, you also have to realize that they’ve probably had a bad day,” Ms. Henry said.

“Sometimes you can be stressed out, but I don’t think anyone is wrong.”

And Murray Begg, owner of Bondi The Organic Republic cafe, said that while he takes feedback seriously, the customer isn’t always right.

“Our hot-blooded staff sometimes stand up on the wrong side. Some customers even do. An insignificant minority even have unusual times when they behave badly, ”he said.

Meanwhile, Beirman said part of the problem was a skills shortage in the industry.

“There is a national skills shortage in tourism and hospitality of around 50,000 people,” Beirman said.

“If you can’t be selective about who you hire, sometimes the quality of service will reflect that. “

Restaurateur and chef Luke Mangan said it’s important to educate young people entering the industry.

“In Europe and maybe abroad people see it as a long term profession and maybe what we are seeing is younger children seeing it as replacement work,” said Mr. Mangan.

“We definitely have a skills shortage with our servers and chefs. In fact, I physically go to school now and talk to kids who are about to drop out of school and tell them how good our profession is, ”he said.

Hotel student Georgina McCarthy, 20, is keen to make a difference.

“(Some cafes) don’t go out of their way to find out if they can do something more for customers; they just provide the minimum standard.

“It doesn’t take much more effort to provide good service.

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