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Jay Rayner slams UK service standards

11 May 2006

Service in British restaurants is marked by amateurism, incompetence and outright hostility towards the customer, according to restaurant critic Jay Rayner.

Speaking at the 2006 Caterer and Hotelkeeper Chef Conference at London's Landmark hotel on Monday, the Observer‘s restaurant critic of seven years said that while there were some excellent examples of front of house in this country, they were few and far between.

"It is not just me whinging at you," Rayner told an audience of 180 chefs and industry professionals. "This is what I get from readers week in, week out.

"You the chefs need to see service as your problem because it's your food that's being undermined. I think I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't pass that on."

  • For a full report of this year's Chef Conference, sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, Lea & Perrins and Quorn, see next week's Caterer, out on 18 May.

By Joanna Wood

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