Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Dining "Out"

The days and weeks that surround the most special holidays of the year give us all an opportunity to take some time to enjoy the blessings received in the days and weeks before and after the beginning of a new year. Now is that time.

A perfect retreat from all the hustle and bustle of Christmas is a quiet alcove table inside a warmly lit restaurant. Most anyplace will do if you are so inclined. If you expect a little more you can expect to pay a little more too. The holidays bring out the revelers and the holidays bring out the hawks too.

My experience inside the hallowed halls of dining establishments big and small, east and west gave me some insight into what you can expect once you mosey up to the bar to wait for a table. No matter how well prepared for some peace and quiet relaxation during a busy holiday season, you can be sure that this trip out to eat will probably cost more now than it would in January. The laws of supply and demand get skewed and for good reason.

Almost 60% of a restaurants revenue pours in During November and December. The reason for this influx of cash is because of the reasons I spoke of earlier. We all need to get out and enjoy our blessings. The establishment knows exactly what you want and how much you don't care about paying some more. The only thing you should be aware of is that as the bill gets bigger the flaws become bigger too.

A perfect example of good food gone bad is the establishment that is privately owned, high priced and hard to get into. Here is where the most common errors are created to benefit the house. I know you didn't expect to be entering a casino to enjoy a great holiday meal but be aware that may be the case. Some may win but many will lose too.

A common error is to run out of that $95 bottle of wine after four bottles. Some how they continue to pour; like Jesus and the fishes. Think what you like but the industry is rife with possible errors. I just tell you about what I might have or might not have seen before.

Another error is portions. Look at the portions before the event and during the event. Many event planners have associates who have only one responsibility; to make sure the food and beverage is what it is supposed to be. The prices you're paying will be higher by 4 or 5%, make sure you get what you pay for.

Back to the alcohol. So much money is lost by corporate and private diners during the holiday season due to mislabeled or over-reported bar tabs that a small countries could live for a year. Make sure, have spies and don't get drunk.

So the place you could lose is obvious. You lose by not paying attention or by not caring. I know a few restaurateurs who can recognize both easily.

The better qualities of eating out during the holidays are as advertised. You can sit back and relax and enjoy the ambience around you while the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers scurry around the warmed brick, Oak or Stucco walls of the restaurant you're in tonight.

Sit and relax with friends. When you do you can get more than you paid for too!

Call ahead and then come to the restaurant in person. Find someone who will be working that evening and inform them that your party will be present and anything they could do to make you meal memorable would be appreciated.

I tip even before the meal sometimes to get the best services wherever I eat.

Call back again before the gathering and prompt the restaurant to give more. Most places will accommodate the squeaky wheel because so few wheels squeak these days. Know what you would get regularly and then reward the workers and the establishment whenever effort is given to make your meal special.

Tomorrow I will continue with my remembrances of busy holiday schedules where the staff made thousands of dollars a night. The reason why was obvious; the people like to party during the holidays.

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