Monday, October 21, 2013

Hope for Quality Tea Service in the Hospitality Industry

As I type this post, World Tea East  is "co-locating" with the Atlanta Foodservice Expo in Atlanta, Georgia.  Below is the postcard I received informing me of the event.

I couldn't agree  more that Tea and Foodservice is a Perfect Pair, but many times tea drinkers find the food industry's actions to be the direct opposite. 

I've pursued tea in the hospitality industry, and have a folder full of material regarding tea service in restaurants and hotels.   I've been told by more than one manager of upscale establishments that tea doesn't generate enough bang for their buck, so they settle for a mediocre tea service and focus their attention on alcoholic beverages instead.  I wish every food and beverage and restaurant manager would be required to read Helen Gustafson's book The Agony of the Leaves, which chronicles her tea journey with the staff at the renowned Chez Panisse in Berkley, California.  She believed good restaurants ought to serve the best teas and serve them well.

A couple of years ago an article was printed 15 Secrets Your Waiter Will Never Tell You. Under the category of "What Drives Us Crazy" was this comment:  The single greatest way to get your waiter to hate you?  Ask for hot tea... You've got to get a pot, fill with boiling water [If the patron is lucky! - my addition], get the lemons, get the honey, bring a cup and spoon. It's a lot of work for little reward.  The comment was signed by the maître d' of a popular New York City restaurant whose name I've purposely omitted.

I wish I would have been able to attend this Expo and sit in on some of the seminars, particularly Bill Waddington's, The Mechanics of Selling and Serving Great Tea in your Coffee Shop or Restaurant.  Some establishments are doing a great job, and kudos to them, but many more need to step-up.

One of the Expo foodservice CEO's said, "We realize tea is an important part of foodservice, and consumers are increasingly looking to enjoy better teas.  The foodservice industry wants to learn about high quality tea and, at the same time, understand how to profit from tea."

This co-located Expo is definitely a step in the right direction, and tea lovers are hoping it produces good results.


  1. Well I hope this will have effect in Canada too. It is disappointing the way tea is served in some restaurants and I detest receiving a stained and chipped tea pot.

  2. Oh dear, with all that's been going on in life, I totally forgot about this expo! And I could have gone!

  3. I didn't pay attention/know about the Atlanta Expo, that would have been fun. Glad to know they are promoting tea service!


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