Who: Bas Averdijk
What: Restaurant Manager
What is your job all about?
Well, I always personally welcome our guests at the beginning of the evening. Our regular guests value this very much since they like to be recognized. Then I make sure we run the entire evening as smoothly as we can. In that respect, I am the link between the chef and the waiting staff. I never stand still and I am always working together with the team.
How do you balance that, working along with the team and keeping the overview?
Experience actually tells you where to walk and where to talk. You could compare it with our country’s best Formula One driver: Max Verstappen. With his load of experience, he would know exactly if there’s another car behind him, even without having seen it.
Where did you acquire this experience?
That started a while ago, to be honest. I became a manager at the age of 22 when I got promoted to ‘Chef de Rang’ at another Michelin-star restaurant. I believe I got the job because I am not lazy. Proactivity and responsibility are essential for this position.
So you could say you were made for the job?
Yes, perhaps. Working hard is what brings you to the next level in this industry. And I also trust that results derive from a great sense of passion: I really enjoy the interaction with our guests and the high gastronomic level we’re on. It’s just amazing, every day I get to work with caviar, truffle and other such incredible products. That’s heaven, right?
Absolutely. But why did you want to do that specifically at The Dylan?
Just because The Dylan is magic. Arriving at this location, in the midst of the canal belt, and then entering through the historic gateway. That’s unique. Vinkeles’ Michelin stars also play a role, they really safeguard our culinary aspirations.
You’re here for a few weeks now. Is there anything you would like to get your hands once you’ve ‘landed’?
I was asked to make the atmosphere less formal, regardless of our quality standards. That is why I apply more of a reserved leading and try to bring in some happiness. That should eventually flash over to the team.
They can only be more casual in a qualitative way if they keep their minds cool. The team should be absolutely conscious of how they’re working, not only what they’re working on. Efficiency saves you time, giving you more headspace to keep calm and maintain the ever-important bird eye’s view.
Is that the recipe for perfect service?
And would there be more to perfect service?
Well, you can only execute topnotch service if you feel topnotch. Therefore one should feel acknowledged by both colleagues and surroundings. I always observe how everyone comes in and starts their working day. Do we need to support a team member? Or can a team member encourage the others?
Something different. What are you excited about? For what can we wake you up in the middle of the night?
I work until late every day, so please don’t wake me up! Haha. But I have my favourites. I really love the Anjou Pigeon on our menu. Or a beautiful Foie Gras with a glass of Vouvray.
So you love meat?
Oh, no I eat everything. I once ate a gorgeous Tarbot with black truffle, potato spaghettini and veal sauce. The most original dish I ate was a dessert of thirty different vegetables. The sweet flavours really came to the front because once a dish is labeled as a dessert, our brains are programmed to taste sweetness.
If you have guests over from abroad, where in Amsterdam would you take them?
I live in Haarlem, which is an easygoing town. Therefore, when in Amsterdam, I would go to more of a cosmopolitan cocktail bar such as Door 74. But with this cold weather you better reserve here. It is a very popular place.
And then back at the Dylan. What is the most beautiful spot of the hotel?
What do you think? Haha…