Nothing in the restaurant business cuts deeper than coming to the conclusion that your customers don’t like your food. Over the weekend, two experiences reminded me that although we hate to admit it, we built restaurants for the public, not ourselves. And as tough as it may seem, restaurants are just retail outlets and in America, the consumer controls retail.On Sunday, while I was busy painting- the bedroom, not canvas- I was watching a restaurant makeover show on the Food Network. A chef and a desaigner were brought in to a small restaurant in mid-America to give it a facelift. THe menu of the existing restaurant offred everything under the sun. The celebrity chef went in and immediately redesigned the menu with Tapas style, small plate offerings. His featured television selections consisted of a Shrimp Bong- four shrimp served in an small hot water carafe usually served with tea. The other selection was a miniature skillet with two sea scallops which had been sauteed on a bed of julienned vegetables. Both dishes would have flown out the door of a cafe in San Francisco or New York, or probably anyother urban area, but in small town mid-america they wouldn’t top the most popular entree charts.
On Monday, while walking past a restaurant in Wine COuntry that has just recently opened I looked at the menu and one of the entree items was Roasted Goat served three ways. Call me old fashioned, but goat doesn’t excite me, as a member of the dining public. Now, I could be wrong on this, but I don’t have a lot of goat meat eating friends. And, I don’t believe I have ever seen it in the grocery store. It may be a