Bistronomic restaurant - EHL 1893 Retro-Modern Brasserie

June 27, 2023 •

5 min reading

Mastering Bistronomic Service: Tips for Success in Casual Fine Dining

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What is Bistronomy?

Bistronomy is a restaurant concept originating in France. It was popularized by top French chefs seeking a departure from the stress of earning and maintaining Michelin stars. Bistronomy emphasizes elegant, accessible cuisine using high-quality ingredients and wines, delivering excellent value for money.

The Importance of Service in Bistronomy

The bistronomy scene has become highly competitive, attracting numerous restaurant owners to this casual fine-dining concept. In bistronomic establishments, exceptional service is crucial for success. Though formalities are less emphasized compared to traditional fine dining, bistronomy staff must proactively engage in personalized interactions with guests. Bistronomic restaurants rely on their service staff to craft a distinctive dining experience that seamlessly blends elegance, enjoyment, and efficiency, showcasing their unique charm.


Top 5 Service Standards for an Outstanding Bistronomic Dining Experience

1. Efficiency

Aim for a fast dining experience, targeting 45 minutes to 1 hour for a 3-course meal with coffee.

2. Staff Knowledge

Empower staff with a deep understanding of the chef's cuisine, dishes, and commitment to sustainability.

3. Local Ingredient Stories

Train service staff to share the origins of key ingredients and the stories of local producers with whom the chef collaborates.

4. Embrace the Chef's Philosophy

Reflect the chef's personality, emotions, and philosophy in the service style, such as EHL's 1893 brasserie's focus on generosity, sharing, and innovation.

5. Personalized Interaction

Encourage staff to engage with clients in a personalized and authentic manner, even under pressure, to create a cozy and enjoyable dining experience.

Learn more about bistronomic trends


Essential Tips for Fast and High-Level Service in Bistronomy Restaurants

  • Adapt Service Based on Time of Day: Adjust your approach to provide a speedy lunch service and a more leisurely dinner experience.
  • Streamline Table side Procedures: Save time by skipping table side carving at lunch and opting for more efficient plating methods.
  • Anticipate Customer Requests: Stay one step ahead of your guests by predicting their needs and addressing them proactively.
  • Simplify Dessert Offerings: Offer a dessert menu instead of a dessert cart to speed up decision-making and service.
  • Reduce Operational Tasks: Leave water and wine on the table for guests to help themselves, provide cutlery in pots on the table.
  • Maintain Close Contact with the Dining Room: Keep a holistic view of service to ensure timely delivery, with a goal of 2 minutes for the menu, 5 minutes for apéritifs, and 15–20 minutes per course.
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6 Recommendations for Wine Service and Pairing at Bistronomy Restaurants

1. Offer a Curated Selection

Present a limited range of options, such as 2 white wines, 2 red wines, and 1 sparkling wine by the glass.

2. Embrace Local Wines

Focus on local wines and personal favorites, buying small quantities to ensure freshness and variety.

3. Explore Lesser-Known Wines

Feature unique offerings like Merlot from Ticino or biodynamic wines to pique customer interest.

4. Support Local Producers

Partner with local beverage makers, such as local lemonades, and serve seasonal local beers.

5. Incorporate Garden-to-Glass Ingredients

Create cold infusions using herbs from your own garden, like verbena and mint, for a personal touch.

6. Offer Local Alternatives to Popular Drinks

Consider serving a local version of popular soft drinks to provide guests with familiar but unique options.


Suggestions for Guests to Maximize Their Bistronomic Dining Experience

  • Be Adventurous: Allow yourself to be guided through the menu and indulge in the unique dishes prepared by the chef.
  • Embrace Curiosity: Approach your dining experience with an open mind and be ready to explore new flavors and culinary techniques.
  • Appreciate the Chef's Craft: The ideal bistronomy diner loves gastronomy and values the creativity and skill behind each dish.
  • Avoid Overly Simple Requests: Instead of opting for a basic green salad, take the opportunity to try more inventive and flavorful offerings from the menu.
  • Savor the Experience: Take the time to truly enjoy and savor each dish, appreciating the nuances of flavor and finishing your plates.

Discover EHL's 1893 Retro-Modern Brasserie


5 Reasons Why Bistronomy Restaurants are Ideal Training Grounds for Future Hospitality Managers

Future hospitality managers can benefit from the unique requirements of a bistronomy restaurant to hone their customer service skills. The 1893 retro-modern Brasserie at EHL offer such a training ground for EHL’s Bachelor students during their preparatory year:  

  1. Balancing Efficiency and Quality: Students learn to provide friendly, high-quality service while maintaining efficiency in the fast-paced bistronomy environment.
  2. Adaptability and Flexibility: Trainees hone their skills in adapting to variations in customer flow and restaurant occupancy, catering for rapid service at lunchtime and a more leisurely experience during dinner.
  3. Mastering the Art of Storytelling: As future hospitality managers, students practice introducing guests to the chef's unique personality and sharing the stories behind each dish and beverage.
  4. Perfecting Presentation Skills: Bistronomy restaurants offer opportunities for students to refine their presentation skills, with elements such as dessert chariots and tableside service.
  5. Showmanship Development: Students can work on their showmanship skills by engaging in activities like meat carving or flambée, creating personalized and memorable experiences for guests.

Did you know that EHL offers short courses in Bistronomic cuisine (in French)?


Parting Advice for Students and New Service Staff in a Bistronomy Restaurant

Embrace Change

Transitioning from a traditional gastronomic restaurant? Let go of the protocol mindset and adopt the more casual atmosphere of bistronomy.

Preparation is Key

Familiarize yourself with the menu and wine list, knowing the stories behind each offering to provide valuable insights for guests.
Personalized Recommendations: Be ready to guide guests in their selections, tailoring your advice to their preferences and dietary needs.

Authenticity Matters

Stay true to yourself and be genuine in your interactions with guests, creating a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere.
Acknowledge and Learn: Recognize mistakes, learn from them, and strive for continuous improvement in your service.

Pride and Enjoyment

Take pride and pleasure in being an active participant in the guest experience, ensuring memorable and satisfying visits for all.


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