You are alone in your restaurant. Your staff has left for the evening. The bustle from the dining room mingled with the chaos of the kitchen the entire night. But, rather than adding to the commotion and misstep, the staff rose to the occasion and handled the crowd as a trainer handles the cats of the jungle.
You’ve had a phenomenal night. The revenue may be enough to cover payroll- from last week. The bar was packed with women pursued by tequila-chasing-hounds chugging beer as back ups with hope and fantasy of making emotional headway so as not to stagger home alone.
Finally a quiet moment alone. And to think contemplation on selling visited just two days ago. Heading out you stop by your linen-bag-strewn office, put the receipts in the drawer, wrap the folded cash in a rubber band, place it in your right hand pocket, finish the last sip of scotch and think to yourself, before you go home to crash you need to visit the men’s room.
The smell of stale urine greets you before you can turn on the light. Your first thought: “Why didn’t I go next door for a nightcap and us their bathroom?” And as you peer into the puddle of urine on your once highly polished floor- a sampling of processed drinks from the sloppy, splashing, bad aim, over the top, side and edges customers you have been serving all night you realize your new Stefano Castellini’s have officially been welcomed with a good old fashioned sole soaking.
The dilemma you face is to clean or not to clean the bathroom floor. If you clean it, you will be pissed all the way home that someone missed that line on the checklist. If you don’t clean it, your men’s room will broadcast that hovering odor or its medicinal air freshener cover up for the rest of the weekend.
Of course you clean it. Because nothing beats a stunning bathroom in a restaurant. No matter which of the sexes it hosts, a bathroom’s appearance and condition either shouts failure or success, real restaurant or just playing restaurant.
One bathroom I was recently using actually had a bar towel on the floor underneath the urinal to catch any over-the-edge splashes, I presume so they wouldn’t land on the highly glossed tile floor.
The award, though, for country’s greatest bathroom belongs to The Rutherford Grill in
But don’t think that a great bathroom is the answer to all of your culinary woes. The Rutherford Grill is one of the country’s greaat restaurants It is a wine country culinary anchor and one of the few restaurants where the locals go to visit and the visitors go to feel local. Abbie Connor, The Grill’s manager, leads one of the est teams in Napa Valley.
As an owner I have cleaned my fair share of bathrooms. Some years back I had a meeting of all my chefs and managers and in a rousing speech laced with vulgarities of varying decibels I informed the group I was disappointed nobody seemed to be working hard enough to prove to me that they wanted my job.
A hand quickly shot up and I asked Tom Fritz, a manager, if he had a question.
“Yes. Why would we want your job, you come in every morning at 6:00 a.m. and clean the bathrooms. We wouldn’t do that,” he said in a very serious tone.
Fritz was right on both counts. I love to inspect restaurant bathrooms. McSorley’s Old Ale House in
Yes, the bathroom in any restaurant is the one place that broadcasts your restaurants commitment to hygiene and cleanliness.
So get rid of the puddles. Toss the yellow soaked towels. When thinking of a new restaurant, keep the drain in mind. It may prove to be one of your best investments late at night just before you turn off the light and lock the door.