SOURCE: The Frog and The Peach

January 18, 2007 11:16 ET

Fine-Dining Restaurant Owner Gives the Dish on Servers

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 18, 2007 -- When we think of waiters and waitresses, many of us think it's a piece of cake to take orders, get the food and bring it to the table. But, there's more to it than that according to Betsy Alger, owner of The Frog and The Peach, a fine-dining progressive American restaurant in New Brunswick, NJ. In fact, it requires an education on food, wine, allergies and health trends as well as compassion and an understanding of human behavior.

Alger explains, "At restaurants like ours, the menu changes very frequently and the wine list is constantly evolving. As a result, our servers have to always stay up-to-date on those changes. We test them about six times a year. They also have to be aware of food allergies and alternatives to offer for those who have such allergies, as well as dietary trends and what it means to be a Vegan or on the South Beach Diet."

Rick Newmeyer has been a server at The Frog and The Peach for five years. He says waiting tables is much more complex in a fine-dining restaurant than in a more casual concept and the people don't always understand that. "The toughest part is keeping on top of the menu changes. But, you also have to be a good communicator, well-rounded and physically fit since you are usually on your feet all day. You need to be able to read people."

When a new server comes on board at The Frog and The Peach, training starts with the food and the menu. There is a day in the kitchen observing how the food is prepared and expedited. That is followed by a wine seminar which educates the servers on the more than 350 bottles on the wine list. Training also involves the basic aspects of working in a restaurant which include ideas which range from where the water glasses go to dietary choices and restrictions to where the name of the restaurant came from.

The Frog and The Peach was the first Contemporary American fine-dining restaurant in New Brunswick which pioneered the city's downtown renaissance in the early '80s. Alger owns the restaurant with her husband Jim Black. The progressive restaurant serves modern cuisine with an international spin. The restaurant has an ongoing commitment to innovative preparations, fresh ingredients, well being and the environment. For more information, visit

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