When it comes to hospitality, ICE Culinary Management Instructor Kate Edwards ranks among the industry’s most respected service experts. With a resume that includes stints at Keith McNally’s Balthazar bistro and Thomas Keller’s fine-dining mecca, Per Se, Kate has long worked with the food industry’s finest. With the recent release of her first book—Hello! And Every Little Thing That Matters—she’s sharing her service secrets with aspiring hospitality professionals in the food industry and beyond. We sat down with our resident service all-star to learn her make-or-break tips for restaurant success:
First and foremost, what inspired you to write this book?
The idea for the book came to me as early as 2008. I had some theories about what makes great service, but I needed to prove the theories to write a book. Since that time, I’ve pursued a wide range of consulting projects in addition to teaching at ICE, which allowed me to refine my thoughts. In 2011, I wrote the book proposal, and five years later, here we are!
Why do you think the industry needs a new manual for service?
The book started as something that was specific to the restaurant industry, but the final version deals with service across all industries. Service has never been more crucial in business; it’s the most important added value that a company can use to differentiate itself in the market.