Friday, 5 June 2009

Would this help?

Linda, one of my Rita-readers in the US has emailed me suggesting that any of our local restaurants who are doing it tough try what some are doing over there. She says:

"....some Restaurants around here are instituting the 'No Corkage" Policy on those nights of the week that could be the slowest, ex: Sunday That way they're doing a little something towards encouraging people to continue frequenting restaurants without the extra fees , at least on one or two nights of the week. Its a win-win situation. (Now if you add a Fixed Price menu on those nights its definitely a big Win)."

My good friend, business man and fellow blogger Steve yesterday refuted this rationale for very sane and understandable reasons.

Anyone else care to comment?


Anonymous said...

Corkage is charged for good reasons not to rip customers off. How will the restaurant recover the costs of the wine glass if the customer breaks it? im not going to even get into power, wages, cleaning etc.

sir grumpy said...

But don't you see this is a chance for some extra, anon?
A broken wine glass don't cost much unless you are going for the very good stuff in top restaurants.
Most tableware is run of the mill. The power, wages thing is almost a constant, so you might as well cash in on the extra custom.
Who knows, a customer not charged for corkage may then go on to order a second bottle from your house list, etc, etc.
Grasp the well-meant advice and show some generosity for goodness sake. After all it might save your hide.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, how are the restaurants supposed to make a living when people bring their own grog?
Do you go to the hairdressers & use your own shampoo to cut a few dollars off?
Do you go to the supermarket & take only ten slices of bread from the bag instead of the whole loaf?
Next you 'll coming in with your own tea bags & just wanting a cup of hot water!

Anonymous said...

The restaurants are supposed to make money by exciting us all with good food and a good atmosphere!

The wine is a side product, we can all buy that from all sorts of places. Its an extra!

Some of the busiest places seem to offer wine sales at reasonable prices and also a reasonable corkage for BYO.

I have eaten out a couple of times this week and have also driven past a heap of places.

It was great to see places like Flathead busy early in the week and Solo flat chat as usual mid week.

The whole business seems much the same as it always is, if you offer value, whatever the price you will do OK.

If you don't want to provide good value, just talk up the GFC, sit around the place and whinge.

By the way I was amazed to see people critical of the $5 meal at Telegraph and the kids deals at Mures.

In any business, as its always been, you need a steady flow of patrons otherwise you are dead so this forum and others should be celebrating these specials, not condemning them!

Get us all out there, away from the TV, forget about MasterChef, get more bums on seats.


Anonymous said...

sir grumpy show some generosity yourself and pay a fair price for a good meal and drinks.
All the restaurant owners that I know(and thats quite a few) slog there guts out for a small financial return and they only continue to do it for the love of there jobs and the freedom of being self employeed.
If we have as you call it " run of the mill" glasses on the table then some bastard will get on a blog bagging us out for using cheap glasses.
And at the end of the day if you put on a cheap special coupled with BYO drinks you may get people through the door but you are serving a lower standard of product and probably not making any profit.
However if you stand your ground and the few people you serve having a memeroble dining experience, and will also not make any profit.
Well fuck it I choose option two I have self respect and get an early night, and are earning a reputation for quality which is priceless!

Linda said...

Having worked in the restaurant business, we are aware that the intention of those in the industry is to prov ide a qualilty product, express originality and expertise, see that patrons enjoy and rejoice in their meals, and by the way, to make a profit. It is a business which

Stephen said...

There's a good margin to be made on booze, so encouraging customers to bring their own isn't clever.

Instead, find something that:

1. is cheap to make;

2. the customers overvalue;

3. that won't cause the customer to skip a high margin sale.

For instance, Kaos do a cheap $10 roast on a Sunday night. What's the thinking there?

* Empty tables are filled at an otherwise quiet time;

* They don't merely move their regulars from one day to another, they actually get new customers;

* Every customer will buy something to drink with their meal = high margin;

* Many customers will have a dessert = high margin;

* Many customers will have a coffee = high margin.

* Table is ready for another seating every 90 minutes.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the advice steven but you obviously do not work in yhe industry and dont have a fucking clue what your talking about.
* try cooking a good roast at home for 10 bucks a head then add wages power moragage/ rent broken crokery etc on to this.
* when you put on a cheap special you attract cheap special types so you will be lucky to get a drink out of them let alone dessert and coffee.
*it not the fuckin 80s do your calcs and a coffee doesnt cost "30" cents a cup as it has rumoured to cost for the last 20 years. by my calculations it is closer to $2.(have a good look at the price of milk)
*like wise with dessert there is no higher a margin then with mains.

Wayne said...

I agree with last anon, minus the swearing
Stephen, your self righteous pontifications seem very conceited & arrogantly dismmissive of the situation of running a restaurant.
You are completely deluded if you think that by following your simple formula, that it will gaurantee success.
All opinions are welcome here & yours is no exception however I think your ideas are teribly simplistic & naieve & perhaps symptomatic of the wider false assumption that running a food business is as simple as joining the dots, as in any mug can do it.
So very wrong.

Stephen said...

gosh, you guys are so frustrated - better make sure your life insurance is current in case you burst a blood vessel.

Wages, power, mortgage etc are a constant. If you're going to be incurring those costs anyway, why not do your best to fill as many tables as you can?

People run entire businesses just making coffee - what do they know that you haven't figured out?

Kaos's roasts are cheap to knock out. Customer's value it at the price point because they're time consuming to make at home.

Running a food business is tough, the failure rate is huge. That makes it all the more important to find a niche that works for you.

Don't just sit there whining about it expecting - you need to attract customers.

Anonymous said...

Consistent with your patronising & condecending tone aren't you Stephen?
What makes you think in my case that I or any onther commenters, as you say, haven't 'figured it out.'
I am merely putting up an alternate view to your inflexible doctrine, nor am I whining or complaining.
Instead of cheering from the sidelines & belittling others comments, why dont you keep your unhelpful & superior views to yourself.
Hypocrite, you're all care & no responsibilty, easy for you isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Wayne/anon for your insight on this(and posh and educated comments), i know who you are, and look forward to buying you a beer soon