Harvester Restaurants, the UK’s favourite great value family food chain, have recruited up-and-coming comedian Rhys James from ‘Mock the Week’ to train its staff on comedy tactics and conversation starters to add some fun to their customers’ dining experiences.
To celebrate, we were invited to sample the menu at The Snuff Mill Harvester in Bristol. We were very excited as we have never been to a Harvester.
The restaurant was gorgeous – lovely decor and a large pond right in the middle! We were seated in a round booth type seat. The tables have a turntable in the centre for easily sharing starters etc.
Our order was taken quickly and our server Junior was a tonic – full of laughter and mischief. We could hear him chatting to and laughing with customers all evening and the atmosphere was lots of fun!
We did share some starters and the turntable was a great touch.
Mummy had a veggie burger, Lea a cheese burger, MeeMee had spicy salmon and Luke had a rack of ribs. I had the chicken breast from the children’s menu.
For desert I had chocolate pizza, Lea and Luke shared a chocolate cake and MeeMee had . Mummy had a latte coffee.
I had water to drink and the others had a soft drink each – refills were unlimited, which is great value.
The whole meal came to £86 for five of us which we thought was really good.
The only criticism Mummy had was that our server would not serve MeeMee a glass of wine – and she is 20. She had her Uni ID but they would not accept it. Just to warn you that they have a policy where this ID is not enough. Mummy was a little disappointed as MeeMee was with us, but never mind, we still had a great evening.
“So many people are distracted over dinner by social media, texting or thinking about where we’re going to hurry off to next, Rhys has carried out a ‘Rib Tickler’ training session to help the restaurant chain bring people together over food and drink.
You can see a session in action here:
The UK’s favourite feel good restaurant hopes to help bring people together over food and drink and add some fun back into to its customers’ dining experiences through the use of some ‘fish & quips’. (Groan!)
A poll of 845 people conducted by the restaurant chain on Twitter revealed that the top dining situations people felt could use some humour are:
• screaming children (34 per cent)
• fellow diners too distracted by phones to have a conversation (26 per cent)
• an awkward first date (21 per cent)
• boring dinner with the family (19 per cent)
Rhys James said: “I once worked in a restaurant and my banter never received the appreciation it deserved, so it was great to live vicariously through the Harvester team. It’s the ideal situation – if they get a laugh, I’m a genius. If they don’t, then it’s all down to their poor delivery! Some of them did really well with their own improvisation, but I’m secretly going to put this down to my excellent training too.”
Hazel Laughey, who has worked at Harvester for 6 years, said: “I’ve been part of plenty of training sessions but never one quite like this. We’re trained to create ‘feel good moments’ for guests, but this taught us the value of using comedy to improve our guests’ dining experience, which was the extra cherry on top. Admittedly, I was nervous at first, but once the guests started to laugh, it certainly gave me a buzz!”
Rob Pitcher, Divisional Director at Harvester, commented: “Our ethos is based on ‘feel good dining’ and we believe that training our staff in comedy will help bring family and friends closer together. Introducing more humour to the server and guest relationship is something we consider very important. We want guests to know that if they go into a Harvester, they will not only be served delicious food, but they’ll have a brilliant experience too!”
Have you dined at any Harvester Restaurants?