The Cost of Success
Remember Yogi Berra’s observation about a restaurant: “Nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded.”
It’s not all that silly. We dined last night in a place on Nantucket where we’ve been going for ten years. It’s tough to get a reservation, it’s constantly filled, the noise level is immense, the tables are jammed together. On top of that, there’s 20% added to every bill for the gratuity, so I found our server, at least, to be rather “uninvolved.” The kitchen allows for no substitutions, my martini took 15 minutes to reach me from a bar 15 yards away, and it wasn’t cold when it finally finished its trip. The food at this point is barely above average and the menu is small.
We’re not going back. There’s no question this is a financial gold mine, but my question is, “What business are you in?” Are you trying to merely make money from the volume of patrons, or provide a really fine dining experience where people can easily talk and enjoy fine food? This is Nantucket. The price of the meals isn’t an issue. The wine list is magnificent and they hawk caviar at every opportunity. But I’m not drinking fine wine and munching on caviar when I have to shout for my wife to hear me and there are people two feet on either side of us shouting, and the staff has to bump into you to serve and remove dishes or merely pass by.
Bring me a burger.