Posted on May 18, 2008
Recently I’ve found myself eating out far more than I should. While more expensive than eating at home, I have been unable to resist the convenience, service, and tastiness of restaurants. My experiences over the past few weeks have given me some ideas that I would incorporate in a restaurant, were I ever to open one. I think the combination of these items, and some delicious food would lead to the world’s most bestest restaurant.
Waiters would be required to have a notepad….and use it
I know that many people complain about waiters and waitresses who commit orders to memory, but they are becoming a pet peeve to me (not the people who complain, the waiters and waitresses themselves). I think this is because I have a ‘special’ request that goes along with 90% of my orders: ranch dressing. That alone probably makes me the pet peeve for waiters and waitresses, but I am also ‘voluntarily’ tipping them 20%. I think a side of salad dressing for French fry dipping is a fair exchange. I find that waiters and waitresses (since I am getting tired of typing this out, I will refer to them as waiteresses from here on) who attempt to impress me with their short-term memory capacity remember my ranch approximately 50% of the time, which frustrates me 100% of the time.
Unfortunately, this is turning out to be much more of a gripe session that originally intended, but I have never met anyone who prefers that their waiteress not write their order down. Perhaps this practice is some sort of waiteress right of passage. Regardless, I am almost to the point of writing my order down myself. Or even better, maybe instead of writing the tip on the bill, I should just remember it in my head. My waiteress would no doubt appreciate that demonstration of short-term memory capacity.
Fine dining without a jacket
I like eating at classy dining establishments (or ‘joints’) as much as the next guy. However, I don’t like feeling obligated to dress up. I want to be comfortable. For this reason, my restaurant would be very casual…for the guests. In order to create an air of elegance, the waiteresses would be dressed up nicely (I wouldn’t go so far as a tuxedo, that would be impractical. Rather, I think I’d require pants, a jacket, a bowtie and a cummerbund) and would refer to the guests and ‘sir’ and ‘mademoiselle’. The class would not stop there either. Rather than telling guests at the end of their meal, “here is your bill”, they would say, “sir, mademoiselle, I hope you enjoyed your meal…the one I wrote down…here is your William. I’ll be your cashier when you are ready.” I think that approach would make my restaurant unique…ly great!
Now I realize vegetables are an important part of a balanced diet, but they’ve become the MSG of meal sides. When I go out to dinner, I go out for a tasty meal. That automatically excludes vegetables. I always feel obligated to eat them though since I am paying for them and I still subconsciously feel like I’d have to eat them for breakfast if I didn’t eat them for dinner (thanks mom). I’d much rather avoid paying 25% of my meal for summer squash and get my carrots at home. No matter how they are cooked, vegetables do nothing more than take up room on my plate or (rarely) in my stomach. Therefore, sides at my restaurant would be limited to breads and any reasonable preparation of a potato.
This feature at my restaurant may require some unique floor planning, but would make for a much more enjoyable experience. Whenever I get the choice, I prefer by far to sit in a booth. Sitting at a table…out in the middle of the room…with everyone around just makes me feel so vulnerable. It seems like everyone in my proximity is listening to the intimate conversations I am trying to have with my family (usually it’s something like this: “I bet they’ll forget my ranch.”).
And speaking of booths, every booth would have a sink stocked with soap (refer to previous germ blog). No more excusing myself before every meal to visit the bathroom. I would be able to sanitize my hands and the hands of my children without anybody wondering about the size of my bladder.
Oh well, maybe someday Mr. McMahon, or heck, even Mr. McDonald will figure out that these things would improve the average dining experience immensely. In the meantime, I will have to continue working on nice ways to ask again for the ranch I ordered without motivating waiteresses to provide that ranch with some extra saliva.