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Servers at ethnic eateries ...


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Not About Food 151

Servers at ethnic eateries ...

ipsedixit | Nov 6, 2009 07:44 PM

Do you expect that ethnic restaurants would always have servers of the same ethnicity as the restaurant itself?

E.g., Mexican restaurant with Mexican servers. Chinese restaurant with Chinese servers. Etc.

Today, at lunch, we were at a Thai restaurant and our server was Middle Eastern. Now, this is not a commentary on our server's abilities (she was by all means professional and more than competent, by the way) nor about Middle Eastern workers generally, but rather a question about expectations and perception.

It was just a little jarring to see a non-Thai waiting tables at a mom-and-pop type Thai restaurant (about 25 tables total).

Some of us in the group commented that because there was a non-Thai waiting tables the food must be less than authentic.

Whether that statement above is true or not, I thought that it might be a bit of a business faux pas because sometimes perception is more important than reality. If there are customers out there that actually believe the ethnicity of the server somehow reflects upon the authenticity or quality of an ethnic restaurant then it might behoove the owner to seriously reconsider some of his business practices.

Your thoughts?

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