Karne Garibaldi holds the record for fastest service in the world, getting you your food in just 13.5 seconds. Here's how they do it
Normally, dining at a popular restaurant involves a long wait that makes you even hangrier than you already are, but not in Guadalajara. At least not at Karne Garibaldi, an award-winning restaurant best known for its carne en su jugo. Karne Garibaldi has held the Guinness World Record for fastest service since 1996. And by fastest service, we’re talking 13.5 seconds from order time until the food—served hot, by the way—hits the table.
No, really, it's that fast, if not faster. On a recent visit to Guadalajara, I popped by the restaurant, assuming their fast-service claim was one of those situations where it happened one time and they used it as a marketing ploy. I was wrong—and blown away by the fastest service I've ever received in my life. “It was our goal to offer our clients our best service, so that they could eat a delicious meal in no time,” says Laura Mariaud, head of the digital communications department of Karne Garibaldi. “Therefore, we became the fastest.”
Because their traditional dishes require hours of cooking and TLC, they're essentially ready to be served upon arrival, but actually plating the dishes and carefully transporting juicy stew and such to tables, without any spillage, in under 13.5 seconds is a serious skill.
After ordering, my waiter came over in about twelve seconds with carne en su jugo, refried beans, corn and a Mexican Coke. It’s like speed dating of the restaurant world. While I assumed the food would be mediocre at best—because that’s damn fast—it still remains one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
Let’s back up to carne en su jugo, which literally means “meat in its juice.” It's one of the most “representative dishes in Jalisco’s gastronomy,” Mariaud says. The brothy beef dish eats more like a stew, cooked in its own juices alongside pot beans, bacon and green chili. It's served with chopped onion, fresh coriander and lemon to add brightness.
The refried beans with corn are also unmissable. “This recipe is very popular in our state, since we were the first ones to prepare beans like this,” she says. “The corn adds a special touch in the recipe, making its taste an even more Mexican traditional one.” Quesadillas al patrón (quesadillas covered in meat juice), guacamole and enfrijoladas (fried tortillas slathered in beans) are also hot-ticket items.
There are now several Karne Garibaldi spots sprouted around Guadalajara, making it popular dining experience for tourists, but rest assured, you’ll find locals posted up inside slurping on the famous meat dish. The first Karne Garibaldi opened in 1970, on the corner of Garibaldi Street. “Fifty years have gone by since we first started to serve our traditional carne en su jugo in the streets of Santa Tere’s neighborhood,” she says. “Today, we are located in six different spots all around the city, serving the same recipe that we’ve had since day one.”
Several restaurants around the world have tried to beat the world record of 13.5 second service, but no one has succeeded, with staff training being no small feat. “Waiters, captains, cooks and all of our Karne Garibaldi staff are the soul of our kitchen,” says Mariaud. “Therefore, the speediness of our waiters is not all that matters to make our service the fastest of all. Of course, we train our staff to learn how to be efficient, but there’s a whole process behind the preparation of the food that allows the workflow to be fast and effective. This is how our service turns into a production chain that makes the waiter serve in the fastest way possible to our customers.”