It’s Friday in Wine Country. The nights’ chill has dipped to the low 40’s with the mid-day temps reaching 78 degrees. The fluctuation has begun to turn the grape leaves from lush green to a pale gold. The vibrant colors of the vines, deep reds, bright gold and light browns are rapidly setting in, now that harvest is almost complete. The fluctuating temperature in the air parallels the restaurant business.
Some restaurants are hot:continually busy while others offer little more than a chill when you walk in as they just seem to limp along never quite grasping the right concept and sticking with it long enough to build a following.
The other evening I was discussing business with Tony Ounpamornchai. The chef owns Sea Thai Bistro in
Years ago while working in
Ironically, last Sunday we took a barn building break and went into
The Kitchenette has taken a small plate approach to lunch while lowering prices and attempting to attract a larger crowd. In a time when everyone I looking for larger portions at less expensive prices, petite may not have been the direction to wander.
But whether you are doing a strong, steady business, or whether you are struggling to gain a regular customer base, make sure to look at the sales numbers, by category, daily. Those numbers will tell you more about your kitchen and your quality, your flavors and you’re the future of your menu than anything else in your restaurant.
And, if your food costs are in line, you can learn which regular items and nightly specials you need to have the staff suggest and up sell on a regular basis.
Announce a waiter sales contest at today’s pre-shift meeting. Give a bottle of wine to the waiter who sells the most appetizers or desserts from Friday night until Sunday night.
Enjoy the weekend. Buy a local couple a bottle of house wine.