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What's your take on restaurants that aren't very busy?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

What's your take on restaurants that aren't very busy?

 

With 30 entree's on the menu, and only 2 customer's in the place all night, it seems they must be either reheating frozen prepared meals, throwing tons of food out, or stretching the expiration date, since most of the entree's won't even sell at all.

post #2 of 7

I dunno....

 

I used to have a cheesy deli, place was always empty, but did I care?

NOOOOOOOoooooo!

 

The year I sold that business and I had it for 9 years, I was doing almost $900,000./ yr in catering sales.  I actually closed the dining room in the last 6 mths and converted that to my sandwich station--we were doing almost 400 s/wiches a day then.

 

Now I run a chocolate and pastry place.  In our first year I relied almost 100%  on walk-in sales. In our 8th year now, and I rely on almost 80% of my sales coming from wholesale accounts.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #3 of 7

There is a place here in town, a brewpub, I went to frequently. Good food, good beer. As an example one day a group of us from the U went there for lunch. While driving down I was saying that I hadn't been there in quite some time, blah blah.  Our group gets seated and the server is taking our orders. She gets to me and I order the Southwest pork stew. She says "Mark, you always order that!" So much for my claim on not being there in quite some time.

 

Some time later I go in for lunch about 2 pm. There is like 1 other couple in the place. I stand at the hostess station for quite some time, watching all the employees chatting away at the far end of the bar. Eventually someone comes over and seats me.  I sit down with the menu and wait. Front of house staff are all yakking away. And wait. A glass of water would be nice. And wait. Front of house staff is still at the end of the bar yakking away. I wait. I get up, walk out and have never returned.  Went home, went to their website, related the incident. Never heard back.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #4 of 7

 Reheating frozen prepared meals, throwing tons of food out, or stretching the expiration date are probably the worst thing that chefs could do to their customers. Fortunately, I haven't encountered such restaurants yet. I always dine at restaurants where there are quite plenty of customers but not too crowded. I remember my last year's dining experience with spits n pieces restaurant in Brisbane. I love their menus to the point that I go there every weekend just to have their Salt & Pepper Calamari. :D

 

I even asked mom and dad to hire them for their anniversary. Too bad, we booked late and never got a reservation. Maybe next year we can. Hopefully. I can't wait to eat Australian dishes again. 

post #5 of 7

Depends on the kind of restaurant.  My 2nd or 3rd favorite Chinese place in town is almost always empty, but if I actually dine in during the hour I'm there I'll see 20-25 people picking up food.  Plus they deliver any order over $15.  I rarely eat there since I generally eat at my 1st favorite or get delivery but I assume they do pretty well since they've been open for 20+ years.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #6 of 7
Anyone catch Magnus Nilsson on the latest Mind of a Chef? His "restaurant" is on a private estate in Jamtland, Sweden. Supposedly they serve max 12 people per night on that estate, and it didn't seemed like reservations there are truly a product of who you know, not what you can pay. People are flown onto the estate.

In any case, it's weird to me that someone lauded as potentially one of the "new greats" serves 12 covers over a 4 hour period (11 courses I believe). Don't get me wrong, I've looked at Faviken and I have no doubt about the quality of the food nor the skill of those preparing it... But... I think I by myself am capable of producing alot more exquisite cuisine for one or two than I am for 60, 80, 100.

I dunno. To be honest most of my favourite places to eat are hidden gems, I try not to make judgements if the place is empty when I sit down for dinner.
post #7 of 7

Abefroman- I wonder if there is a particular restaurant you are thinking of. As food pump has pointed out, there may be more going on than meets the eye. In my case, our restaurant was always packed on weekends, prompting frequent comments about what a gold mine it was. 

Of course those same people were never there on Tuesday morning when we didn't have a  customer for two hours. 

Are they really empty all night except for two people? Have they been in business for very long? If so, there might be more to it. 

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