It’s Restaurant Week season here, once again, and all those old familiar feelings are beginning to arise.For those unfamiliar, Restaurant Week is a concept created to encourage people to try different restaurants. At its’ inception, each restaurant paid the Restaurant Week company a certain amount of money to participate, created a $27.95 sample menu, all in the hopes that new people would come in, and even better, come back for full prices.
The concept is beautiful; help introduce people to new places they otherwise might not have tried. Unfortunately, the concept and execution are in stark contrast. Deal hunters prey on Restaurant Week. Our usual clientele hides in fear as these new predators enter the market. And, boy do they throw you for doozies. While I could go on and on about this, instead, I’d like to introduce you to what it’s truly like. May I introduce… ::drumroll::
A Typical Conversation with a Restaurant Week Customer:
“Oh, the restaurant is VERY dark. I’m going to have a hard time seeing the menu. Oh my, is that a staircase? We are NOT going upstairs. Excuse me? Did you hear me? I MUST be seated downstairs.”
“Oh, the menu is very small. Is this all the options I have? Oh my, an up-charge for the steak? I once got a steak for $21 at Outback with a salad! I can’t believe their steak is $35. That’s just unreasonable.”
“Okay, are sodas included? What about coffee? Oh, it’s not? Okay then… I guess I’ll just take some lemon for my water. And, can we have more bread?”
“This bread is delicious. It looks like we’re going to need more butter. Can we get more butter? This just isn’t enough for two people.”
“alright, we’re ready to order now. I’ll have the tomatoes and mozzarell (*yes, i know that’s spelled incorrectly. However, every want to be italian on Long Island calls it “mozzarell”) and, I guess for my entree, oh, I don’t know… I’m in between the chicken and the risotto. Ya know what, I’ll go for the risotto.Yeah, that’s what I’ll get.”
“Well, this first course was very good. Ya know what though, the portion was a little small. Oh, a “sample menu”, huh? So, you’re saying your regular menu portion is larger? Well, I mean, I guess if that’s how you want to be.”
Can I get a diet coke? No ice, and a lime?”
“Oh, wow. Look at these steak knives. They have some weight to them. Excuse me, hon, can we get more bread when you get a chance? Oh, AND butter! Just bring two butters!”
“Well, this risotto is just very creamy. Almost too creamy. This shrimp is delicious. This is just out of the world. I’m very glad you paid the extra $5 for the steak. That steak is the best steak I’ve ever had.”
“Are refills free? Oh, good- at least something is. Can I get a refill?”
“Alright, what’s for dessert? Mhm, chocolate cake. Or cheesecake! This is just a very difficult decision. You know what, I’ll go with the cheesecake. Oh, wait, no. I’ll go for the chocolate cake!”
“This cake was very decadent. Can we get the check now?”
“That was very good. You’re just going to have to roll me out of here. I am SO. Stuffed.”
Just imagine that conversation, over and over and over and over again. While I’m glad the restaurant is busy, man oh man, do I miss my normal clientele.
Wish me luck this weekend.