It’s Friday in Wine Country… and crush has come to an end. Most of the vines are naked while some grapes will spend the remaining months of fall lingering above the seeded rows. The crop was abundant, but wine sales are slow, and some vintners decided to not even harvest. And, it is Halloween. The masked men, women, and children will be out in force.
Between the night of ghosts and goblins falling on a Saturday, the World Series, and a few football games on T.V. the outlook for a bail-out weekend may be less sweet than we expectred, or needed. Tonight may be a good night for many, but tomorrow night dinners across the country will be down as diners stay home to accommodate their kids and neighbors.
So what should we do? How do we handle the crowd, or lack of it? Have fun. Give the staff a pep talk and remind them to keep their spirits up. Allow them some breathing room to come in costume if they choose and make the guests that do come in – to enjoy a night out- feel as though they are part of the party.
Many restaurants will have parties and specials on the menu to signify Halloween. It may be tough to follow the black and orange color theme on the plate but a black bean and butternut squash succotash-styled side dish works nicely. It’s simple to make, and it can be used as a side dish, add some corn, light tomatoes and Cilantro and it can be offered as a bar salsa.
The main concern is to make the guests you do have feel as though they made the right decision by coming to your restaurant. Nothing hurts an establishment more than to offer great food – and a depressed atmosphere.
And while we’re discussing parties, don’t forget to remind your bartenders to proof anyone who might be trick or treating as an adult. And be careful not to over serve any patrons. One slip of the wheel or a missed brake pedal and a night of fun and frolic can take a turn for the worst.
And remember tomorrow night may be slower than many Saturdays have been in the past few weeks, but Thanksgiving, Christmas and a plethora of
Have fun. Be safe.