Difficult economic times repeatedly push people to do things out of the ordinary. This may be one of those times. I don’t know if I haven’t noticed it before or if it is just
I know how strange that sounds but let me give you some examples.
The first time this practice became evident – not noticeable- mind you, but evident- was in the Rialto Lakeside Cinema. It was during the movie Doubt. As the rustling of paper bags and popcorn serves as the background music for the trailers, the aroma of Cream of Mushroom soups wafted through the theater. Once the pop of the Tuber ware, air tight cover subsided, the woman sitting next to us asked my wife, Kranston, if she minded the smell of Mushroom soup that she had brought from home.
I doubt the manager of the
On recent morning, as I walked into the health club the smell of freshly baked met me at the door. The small caf? has the best homemade garlic croutons I have ever smelled. On my way out of the club, another member had spread out her brought from home lunch consisting of cereal, coffee, and a cup of yogurt.
Only hours later, the center table at Starbuck’s in Sonoma played host to a coffee sipping customer who had brought what appeared to be a luncheon buffet. Complete with salad, sandwich and a banana, the lunching customer not only decided to bring his own food, but utilized a four top do accomplish the food fest feat.
Dealing with the BYOF crowd seems to be a regular problem for many restaurants, cafes and eateries. Of course it is one of the highest compliments for your ambiance, but we are all in business to make money and since most of us intend to do that by selling our main product, edibles, it may make us cringe when someone walks in, sets up, and decides to devour some else’s food.
I don’t know of any restaurants that have a policy for those who bring their own eats but it may e something to consider. Naturally, mothers with small children and families with babies always bring food for the youngsters. I have even offered to go around the corner to buy Big Mac’s for the little ones on more than one occasion.
But the recent spotting of members of he BYOF club seem to be setting some kind of trend. Is it normal to bring a bowl of Mushroom soup to a movie theater? Is it right to bring a lunch bucket packed to the brim and order a cup of coffee?
As I posted yesterday, a cakeage charge is completely acceptable and should be enough to cover dessert for each of the people at his table. Maybe we should begin posting notes on our menu that simply read, “There is a twenty dollar charge if you bring your own food. Please let the manager know beforehand”.
But all kidding aside, you really should discuss this new trend with your staff and implement a policy so that everyone on your team knows how to deal with it. It isn’t the biggest problem you face today but it certainly could add to your stress level if not handled correctly.