In 1945, After World War II, American Occupation Troops stationed in Quezon City, Philippines, were befriended by Maximo Gimenez, a Stanford-educated teacher. A few came to his nearby house for a drink or two, until they insisted that they pay for their drinks. Maximo decided to open a café which served chicken, steak and drinks. He was joined by Mercedes, his wife, and Felipa, his sister-in-law. His niece, Ruby, managed the kitchen. Joined by her husband Claro, Ruby concocted a special recipe for chicken that was adored by G.I.s, and they kept coming back for more. Soon enough, the Filipino public heard about the delicious chicken- tender, juicy and crispy. They came too!
Encouraged by her mother to expand the menu and serve more Filipino food, Ruby set up the Baclaran branch along Roxas Boulevard in Paranaque. It was decided that the restaurant would be named Max’s which was Maximo’s nickname.
Human relations means getting along with other people and building a good relationship with others.
There were so many things I learned in Max’s Restaurant, Bicutan. First of all is being accommodating to every people. Though we have the quotation “We cannot please everybody,” still we can make them feel comfortable whenever unexpected things may happen. Since we are in dining position, we were the ones who face the customers. We need to be ready for whatever they want or need. We must always be prepared to entertain their requests. Being accommodating is one way of building good relationship with others specially our customers. If there is any discomfort or dissatisfaction that they feel, they can easily approach us. Through this, we can improve our service to them.
Secondly, patience, no matter how demanding the customer is, you should keep in mind that they are the customers and “the customer is always right.” Since Max’s is a well-known and an expensive restaurant, you can expect people from the higher class of society.
Not just the customers alone, we must also deal with the regular and contractual employees, supervisors and managers. I developed my sense of humor for one and a half month of staying there. Activeness or alertness is also one of the lessons I’ve learned from Human Relation. We must be alert in getting their orders, opening or closing doors for the customers. Lastly, our minds must also be open for the customers.
I have met friends like Kuya Rene. He never left me. He was the one who really serves as our teacher. Whenever we were about to prepare for our lunch and dinner, he’s the one who carry and prepare our meal at the 2nd floor (where the employees eat). Sometimes he’s the one who prepare our favorite sauce. He’s kind, thoughtful and accommodating. He taught us that perseverance is needed in order for one to reach success. Even when he was tired, he still tried to serve the customers right.
And also Kuya Aldin, our cashier. He always tells me stories about himself, how to deal with customers, his experiences as a long time cashier or different branches of Max’s restaurant. He even treat us for snacks like chicharon, pizzas, etc.
Kuya Togade- our kitchen chef, Kuya Cleto Castro- our frier, they are both regular employees. Kuya Malvin, our casual employee. Also the two borrowed crews, Kuya Bryan and Jay. They all taught me something about dealing with customers and co-workers. They taught me the confidence I have now in facing different people.
My stay at Max’s restaurant for one and a half month was really enjoyable and fun. I am glad that I was able to gain my first working experiences from working there.
We were positioned in dining. We were the front liners so we need to be presentable at all times. We were allowed to wear accessories. We should be fresh and clean in facing our customers. It is really not good if we look untidy in giving them service. We always tied-up our hair so that our face will be emphasized. I also learned wearing stockings which I never tried to wear before. Wearing mini-skirts were also required from us. Putting make-up is also one thing I improved with myself, because then, it was hard for me to put lipsticks. Now it is easier because I used it everyday during my training.
The first day I started my training I felt the discomfort a stranger feels whenver he goes to an unfamiliar place. When I first went to the restaurant, it seemed that it’s really hard to deal with the employees because I knew that they were much older than me. It was hard for me to move or act the way I want. I know it is normal but I really felt strange. But as I started knowing them, in fact, they were the ones who approached me first. I discovered that they were easy to be with, from the manager to the casual employees.
But not everything went right. At first our manager showed the gentleness of a man. But we started to notice the strange thing about him. Since we were required to wear mini-skirts, we always caught him looking at our body. Specially in the lower part. It’s not easy for us to deal with because of his position. So we tried to just ignore him as if we don’t know him so that he’ll be irritated to approach us. It worked because he started to talk to us seriously. Then he made fun with us, gave jokes but not everything was serious.
The other problem I encountered were my co-workers. Since they were older than me, it’s difficult for me to adjust on their jokes, not just simple jokes but green jokes. I tried to talk to them so that they’ll know my feeling about it and so they explained it to me. They just wanted to entertain and welcome us.
Another problem was my relationship with my supervisor. One time, during our peak hour, around 1:00 PM, one of my customer ordered to me. He has a gift certificate. I told my supervisor, who at that time was assigned to the counter station. She told me that I should get the drinks because its just the chicken which was included to the certificate. I get the drinks and gave it to her. She punched it after a while, she called me and ask about the order and gave it to her, knowing that she just wanted to see it. But she punched it again. So there was a double punching. I told her. She shouted at me. I explained to her what really happened but still she’s insisting her side. I left her and cried at the CR. I cried because she shouted at me in front of many customers. I was being embarrassed. I kept on thinking why does it need to happen because even when my co-workers believed that it was my supervisor’s fault. They told me that I still need to respect her because of her position.
I also encountered problems dealing with the customers. Some of them were really very demanding. They wanted to be served the way they like. Then suddenly they change their minds. Though it’s really hard and made me angry, I just told myself that they’re customers.
I have learned many procedures at Max’s Restaurant. I learned how to set the table in the proper manner, like putting table cloths, fork, spoon, etc. and also how to serve food one by one. At Max’s, we were given a chance to serve in parties like birthdays, baptism, christmas party and wedding reception. I was trained to deal with more customers.
In setting the table, of course
the spoon is on the right side and the fork is on the left.
Their distance depends upon the plate that will be used.
The glass should be placed at the right side upper level of the spoon.
There should be a tissue placed before putting the fork.
Since we were put at the dining
position, we were responsible for getting customer’s orders.
As we see them coming in, we were the ones to open the door and greet
them and lead them to the table suited to the number of persons.
In giving them the menu merchandise, we should be informed about the
new menu and be familiar with it. We
never put the menu merchandise down unless it’s already handled or we were
told to do so. We always say the words “thank you”, “excuse me”,
“yes ma’am/sir”, “that’s all ma’am/sir”, to show them respect
and importance. In pointing out
something or somewhere we were told to use the hand but not just a finger
because it shows authority over the customer so this must be avoided.
As a college student who will be graduating in a not so distant future, I know that I must prepare myself now to be a responsible adult someday. One way of preparation that helps students is the on the job training. And because my course is Business Administration, having a working experience in an established and popular restaurant like Max’s, I had a closer look on how things work in a busy diner. From proper food preparations, to table settings, to serving and to human relations- I learned many good points from my training.
I am sure many students like me, specially those in Business Administration would find training in a restaurant educational and rewarding. From my personal experience, I would recommend Max’s restaurant. It may be difficult at the start, but hard work and patience are important virtues that we must nurture in ourselves.
I plan to keep these in mind and apply them whenever appropriate so that if ever I venture into my own business someday, I could put everything I learned into use. Hopefully, my business would be as succesful as Max’s.
II. LESSONS IN HUMAN RELATION
IV. PROBLEMS I HAD ENCOUNTERED
V. OFFICE PROCEDURES
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