After watching the first episode of the new Starz series based on the book, I felt compelled to elaborate upon my original comment/review.
As a current professional in the service industry, it pains me to see how both the book and the show portray the reality of working in a restaurant. Simply put, it is not realistic and is very unfocused - for instance, while it might be plausible that in some alternate universe a new hire would be tasting oysters for the first time in the walk-in with another server/bartender who just so happens to know how to perfectly shuck said oyster, it is, in my opinion, unrealistic that they would have the time to do so given the fact that just seconds before, service was to begin in 7 minutes.
A few other things that the show (not book) got right/wrong:
* the maitr’d addressing the staff as “friends” - no, does not happen (unless this is common in NYC restaurants) * Tess being tasked with filling the salt shakers as everyone else eats family meal - this is extremely unrealistic even in very upright/pretentious places (usually they have you complete a shift known as a “stage” and then decide to move forward but you are usually not tasked such as this)
*Tess’ obvious unease and discomfort came across very realistically and did show how overwhelming beginning to work in the industry can be
*Simone’s comments and general attitude were very realistic (every restaurant has that one server who’s been there for 1,000 years and basically runs the others or inspires fear/awe)
Will be interesting to see how the series plays out but it is generally enjoyable, if not wrought with many flaws.