As a fabulous restaurant insider, I spend a lot of my time in the kitchens and the dining rooms of restaurants. From starting my morning off with coffee and food media sites, texting chefs, and double tapping food porn on Instagram, its pretty much my job and my life to be in a restaurant. Im no restaurant genius, but I know a few things. From the beginning of the day to the time the dish hits your table during restaurant prime time hours ( 7pm-9pm if your wondering) , we are the movers and shakers of the industry.
Recently New York Magazine released "How The Restaurant Game is Played" a inside look at the actions of restaurants and chefs. Believe it or not, restaurants do certain things for a reason and I particularly love the "Menus are Business Proposals" section of this feature. I find that people don't really know why restaurants do certain things and begin to make a fuss over something the average person simply doesn't know about. I realized Hey! If you don't know, then let me tell you! Here are some Restaurant Rules for The New Year.
"How do restaurants make (and spend) money?
Revenues are simple: customers’ checks, split between food and beverage. Costs are more extensive but don’t vary much—primarily goods, labor, and rent—and most restaurants aim to meet the same benchmarks. For example, one successful downtown restaurant that did over 200,000 covers (or checks) last year took in more than $14 million in revenue, about 60 percent of which was in food sales and about 40 percent in beverage. The menu prices ran about four times the cost of goods. Labor costs ate about a third of all revenues, and rent about 8 percent. The restaurant made about a 10 percent profit." - via NYMag.com
Tipping is IMPORTANT: Did you know the minimum wage for a server is $5.00 an hour? Five whole dollars a hour and lets not forget taxes! Yikes! Tipping is crucial when tips make up a large part of servers salaries. If they don't get tips... how do they pay their rent? Think about it.
Know What You Enjoy Eating: In a time where food consumes every aspect of our lives, everyone thinks they are eating fabulously. Everyone has their favorites and it helps everyone in the restaurant to know what you like before you order. If you enjoy your steak medium well, order your steak medium well. Do you enjoy a light wine? A hearty red wine? or are you open to trying a new vintage? The server and the chef are always open to expanding your palette, but we also like when you know how to order your food properly. It helps the flow of the kitchen, the server and the restaurant run smoother especially on a busy Friday or Saturday night.
Keep It Inside the Restaurant: Dining out is a gamble. On any given night a mishap can take place... the cork breaks in a bottle of wine.. your server forgetting your side dish or the hostess seating time may take a little longer than stated. These things happen. Talking to your server or a manager in a polite tone is the best way to get these problems solved. In a world where word of mouth means everything for restaurants, writing a negative online restaurant review for one small mishap isn't always the best way to approach this situation.