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 Post subject: Re: rant: fine dining
PostPosted: November 20 18, 3:12 pm 
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I’m on your side, 33.


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 Post subject: Re: rant: fine dining
PostPosted: November 20 18, 10:30 pm 
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We've talked about this before, but I have 16 seats and it's hard to overstate the difference between 7-8 people and a bunch of bags on those chairs and every seat being full in terms of what it means to me personally and the restaurant's bottom line. Just one or two wrong moves and it's substantial amounts of money.

I've always been pretty aggressive about controlling where people sit, especially on busy nights, but we've been extremely busy lately and I've become completely preoccupied by how people are sitting down to the point that it's feeding into my sober hypervigilance and anxiety issues and I'm thinking too many moves ahead. The is the same part of me that very seriously wants to wait around to confront the person that's slightly double-parked at the grocery store - so I've been trying to relax about it lately.

That said, on Sunday night I basically lectured someone in the most inhospitable way possible for shifting the linens I put down into the middle two of the only four open seats at the bar. Not my finest restaurant moment.


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 Post subject: Re: rant: fine dining
PostPosted: November 21 18, 8:25 am 
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haltz wrote:
I've always been pretty aggressive about controlling where people sit, especially on busy nights, but we've been extremely busy lately and I've become completely preoccupied by how people are sitting down to the point that it's feeding into my sober hypervigilance and anxiety issues and I'm thinking too many moves ahead. The is the same part of me that very seriously wants to wait around to confront the person that's slightly double-parked at the grocery store - so I've been trying to relax about it lately.


Where I got to when I was still behind the stick was watching the door and getting to the seats before the guests, putting menus down at the two seats I wanted them to occupy. If they'd go to take the center 2 out of an empty 4, I'd politely ask "May I ask that you take these two so the next couple in has space?" and about 95% of the time they'd have no problem with it. I have that thing that wants to lecture the supermarket parker as well, so it was kind of a proactive remedy.

Billy Sunday here has it figured out. I used to work a night or two a week there to help Alex out. Fancy cocktail bar, maybe 30 seats at tables and 18 bar seats. All the drinks are 6-9 touch* cocktails, save the draft and bottled cocktails. On Friday and Saturday, Patrick is the host/greeter/doorman. Patrick seats guests, full stop. No one comes in and picks their seat on Friday-Saturday. Patrick greets you, walks you to the bar, seats you. Standing at the bar is limited to regulars and friends of the bar, because three bartenders making 6-9 touch cocktails for 48 seats is busy enough, and if they doubled up the bar service would grind to a halt. If there are four seats open at the bar Patrick puts menus down at XX-- or --XX and if you try to slide Patrick lets you know that won't work for us, there needs to be room for the next couple. It's not a choice, but he puts it nicely. You can't have the middle two and we're happy to check any coats and bags that won't fit on the hooks under the bartop. Guest says "oh but we will move down if someone comes in", Patrick says "It's Friday, someone will be in, and as a courtesy to us and them we need you to take XX-- or --XX." Patrick refused service to a couple once, like if you sit there we will not serve you. They sat there. I ignored them. They left. The Yelp review was awesome.

*"touch is bar lingo for ingredients. How many bottles you have to "touch" to make a cocktail. An Old fashioned has bitters, sugar syrup, whiskey--it's a 3-touch cocktail. Usually over 5 touches you're getting into too-precious, too-busy territory.


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 Post subject: Re: rant: fine dining
PostPosted: November 28 18, 8:50 am 
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There's someone in my head but it's not me
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33anda3rd wrote:
I'm an eat-at-the-bar guy. I often get better service because the bartender is somewhat captive behind the bar and in front of me during my meal. Especially if I'm sitting in front of one of the stations where the bartender is making drinks. We also generally end up chatting with people next to us, which is nice. It's great also if I'm solo and want to grab a bite to eat and just stare at my phone or the television.

We'll sit at the bar if no tables are available. I prefer sitting at the bar if by myself. As you said, better service and some good conversations with bartenders and fellow bar patrons. Spent a lot of time in Boston since the kid lives there and have had some great chats killing time when she had plans for the evening. That's where I learned not to hate on Saux fans.


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