Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
After 5 days of wining and dining in Buenos Aires, I have noticed many differences in the manner in which Argentine and U.S. restaurants are set up. The hospitality and courtesy shown in BA restaurants and cafés surpass any U.S. restaurant I have been to. Hospitality is an intrinsic element in the restaurant industry here in BA, and is something that the U.S. can learn from.
An example of this hospitality took place when we went to eat at some pizza spot near our university. After we were done, our waiter asked us if we would like to order any postres. We were full, so we kindly declined. We continued talking about BA and how wonderful and intelligent our professors are, and about ten minutes later, he came and served us some postres anyway. We were kinda confused at first because we didn’t order them but thanked him and ate them anyway thinking he is solely doing this just to get a bigger tip. Five minutes later our waiter comes up to us and says “una invitación” with 5 ‘coctéls de vino’ which are basically wine with some sort of sherbet on top of the wine. Once again we were confused because we weren’t sure why he would be inviting us anywhere, but then realized that “una invitación” is basically like a gift. He was just giving us these complimentary drinks so that we would continue to stay and enjoy our time at the restaurant.
Unfortunately, ‘invitaciónes’ are rarely seen in the restaurant industry in the U.S. (it has to be your birthday or some special occasion to see any sort of free food). The U.S. restaurant industry is set up to suck up every single penny they can from you and get you out as quickly as possible so they can serve more people and make more money. The Argentine style is all about the experience of the customer and making sure the customer is relaxed, and having a good time. The customer is never rushed with their cuenta as the restaurant wants you to stay, talk, and just enjoy your time there. All of the students in our program have found our personal favorite café called Henri, where we have made friends with a lovely waitress and an older bartender named Roberto. Roberto has hooked us up with drinks and food.. so far, these restaurants and cafes found on every other block of BA are my favorite part of the city.