of this city driven by the hospitality industry is sick.
My office is about a block away from a well-know restaurant section in the city. Tthe iconoclastic
On game days you can barely move amongst the aficionados flocking to
see the SF Giants , the ticket scalpers and dot- com employees
just trying to grab a quick bite between meeting marathons discussing
development, launch and possible productivity.
On non game days getting a table in any of these sports minded culinary emporiums is easy. Too
On a recent visit to a well known Mexican eatery I was dismayed to find
there was a twenty- minute wait for a table for five, in an all but
empty dining room on a Wednesday in the middle of the lunch hour.
The fact that I had to wait didn’t concern me as much as the message this sent to the other people waiting for a table.
After a short discussion with the host I was told that the restaurant
only had two waiters on and they were both busy so my party would have to wait.
After ten minutes passed I asked again about my table and was told it
would be another 15 minutes. I eventually persuaded the host to get
the manager to wait on us as we also had a pressing development
meeting to get back to.
Now this may sound strange that a well know restaurant- that is usually always busy would not have adequate wait staff on the floor.
If you calculate the payroll- using the mandatory health insurance and
living wage numbers in the equation it is more profitable in the long run to forfeit the business in lieu of scheduling another person on a shift just in case the dining room doesn’t do a full turn. A slow day under the
During these tumultuous times it is imperative to keep payroll to a minimum. Yet, to reduce it to the point of not being able to handle a small rush is sheer culinary lunacy. Unless your manager is willing to take tables. That by the way was the ultimate outcome of our luncheon experience. The manager and the waiter both eventually waited on the table. In hindsight, the service was adequate, the food was mediocre, but broadcasting a staff cutback certainly left a bad taste in the mouths of my guests.
We all know hat the business, for the most part, is built on smoke and mirrors. The key is to never let the public know what is going on in the back of the house, or in the accounting department.