Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The lost art of crumbing

My father in-law is a smart man who knows a lot about everything. In a recent conversation we managed to get on a subject that is close to my heart - crumbing. For those of you who are not aware this is the process of cleaning off a table usually at a higher end restaurant with a crumber, a small flat and narrow tool that servers at restaurants use to wipe off crumbs from at table and table cloth.

(Picture courtesy Ray Machine Incorporated)

He went on to say that the crumber was actually invented in Baltimore, Maryland and the original crumber is still sold by Ray Machine. I'm thinking, how does he know this and wanted to hear more. My mother-in-law decided that she had heard enough and told him that nobody cares and to please stop babbling. Perhaps it’s the many years they’ve been married but it intrigued me and got me thinking about crumbers. Actually, there are plenty of people who should be interested including servers, restaurant owners, diners and of course yours truly.

Maybe we should call this the lost art of crumbing because it seems that there are so few servers that actually use a crumber but for someone like me it is very much appreciated. I am a messy eater which my wife will vouch for – just ask her! To say that you can tell where I was seated is an understatement. I can also tell you without hesitation that when my table is crumbed I always give a higher tip. How much you might say? I almost always give five percent extra (if not more) and the main reason is that it is done so infrequently. The server is doing something special and I feel that they deserve a higher tip. You may be a server wondering if you should do this. All I can say is try it and maybe your tips will get bigger. If you work at a fine dining restaurant then this is a no brainer, use a crumber!

There may be some servers out there who don't work at a high end restaurant. What about us? A crumber may not be for you but you can still clean off the table in front of your guests. I can't believe how many times we go out to dinner and a mess is left in front of us. This may or may not lead to a bigger tip. Take the extra step and for any guest with common sense they will realize that a larger tip is warranted. To the general public, don't let this go unnoticed, whether it be with a crumber or without. You know who you are and this isn't the time to be cheap.

Ray Machine has a lot of information on their website including how to use a crumber for any of you would be servers who would like to provide this service to your customers. For the restaurant owners, you can buy their crumbers in bulk, why not provide these to your team? Your staff will be a much happier not only because their customers will appreciate it but they will most likely receive higher tips.

Let's help start a crumb free dining revolution!!