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Restaurants/bars - post Covid-19

Restaurants/bars - post Covid-19
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  • Post #91 - October 23rd, 2021, 4:53 pm
    Post #91 - October 23rd, 2021, 4:53 pm Post #91 - October 23rd, 2021, 4:53 pm
    Coming to and end? No. Reduced to a toilet w/much worse to come. Yeah.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #92 - October 23rd, 2021, 5:00 pm
    Post #92 - October 23rd, 2021, 5:00 pm Post #92 - October 23rd, 2021, 5:00 pm
    For me, it is the 3 C's : Covid, Climate and Congress ( OK its really politics in general, but 2 C's and a P doesn't flow off the tongue).
  • Post #93 - October 24th, 2021, 6:52 am
    Post #93 - October 24th, 2021, 6:52 am Post #93 - October 24th, 2021, 6:52 am
    I've eaten out twice indoors within the last week, which is about two times more than in the past six months. So this is a very small sample.

    Both restaurants* had good sized crowds and not nearly enough wait staff to service them. At one, the wrong food was repeatedly brought to our table, our food was dropped off at other tables, and throughout a 2 hour+ meal we each only had 2 drinks because our waitress just didn't have the capacity to get us more (and to be fair, our waitress was awesome... She was just slammed, way over worked, and I got the feeling her support staff was very new and inexperienced).

    The other issue: food is just getting really expensive (I know this it's being discussed elsewhere out here). One of these meals was a neighborhood bar and grill. Five of us (three adults and two kids) ordering burgers and a couple beers for the grownups.

    I think the final tab was $180. I'm sorry, but that's just too much for a casual Thursday night out with the family, especially with shitty service (and again, a great waitress... But she was basically handling the whole restaurant, including a huge table of like 15 people).

    So what's scary about that $180 price tag: it may actually be too low. If the labor shortage is real, then one of the only ways to solve it is pay your staff more and increase prices.

    And if that math is true, I think there will have to be a reckoning for the restaurant industry. I can't see middle of the road restaurants making a go of it. For me personally, I think "eating out" will mean takeout for the family; and visiting nicer/more unusual places when the wife and I get an occasional date night.


    *For now, I'm going to refrain from naming restaurants. I don't think it's fair to criticize in light of pandemic, labor shortages, etc.
  • Post #94 - October 24th, 2021, 3:55 pm
    Post #94 - October 24th, 2021, 3:55 pm Post #94 - October 24th, 2021, 3:55 pm
    My first company meeting since I was hired 13 months ago, they put me up in the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport.

    No room service, no restaurant table service, due to pandemic restrictions.

    But they'll serve you at the bar, sans mask cuz you're drinking.
    And food can be ordered from their Bistro Market... if you stand in line - the only way to get breakfast.
    (Then it's served on disposables, but that's another rant).

    There's no logic.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #95 - October 24th, 2021, 4:38 pm
    Post #95 - October 24th, 2021, 4:38 pm Post #95 - October 24th, 2021, 4:38 pm
    I have been on the road for eleven weeks of the past three months as I was in Cincinnati preparing my father for assisted living.

    Because, I was not working, I would eat lunch from 2-4 pm and dinner after 8 pm.

    I have learned several things. First, make sure you see the menu before dining out. I have seen certain restaurants that have increased their prices by as much as 50%

    Second, do not expect that the food will be as well prepared as in the past. If it is, it is going to take you more time to receive it from the kitchen.

    Third, if you are on the road, call in advance to see if the restaurant is still around and if it is still open.

    I am finally back home with a full refrigerator, two full freezers, and a pantry filled with four banana boxes full of groceries from various surplus markets in the Wooster/Holmes Co., Ohio area.
    Last edited by jlawrence01 on October 25th, 2021, 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #96 - October 25th, 2021, 5:57 am
    Post #96 - October 25th, 2021, 5:57 am Post #96 - October 25th, 2021, 5:57 am
    JoelF wrote:No room service, no restaurant table service, due to pandemic restrictions.

    I am traveling a lot. The hotels have figured their deal out. They are charging more than they were pre-Covid and are not providing any service. The hotels that are part of chains ( Hilton, Hyatt etc.) have 'brand standards'.

    Brand standards no longer exist.
  • Post #97 - October 25th, 2021, 10:47 am
    Post #97 - October 25th, 2021, 10:47 am Post #97 - October 25th, 2021, 10:47 am
    jellob1976 wrote:And if that math is true, I think there will have to be a reckoning for the restaurant industry. I can't see middle of the road restaurants making a go of it. For me personally, I think "eating out" will mean takeout for the family; and visiting nicer/more unusual places when the wife and I get an occasional date night.

    *For now, I'm going to refrain from naming restaurants. I don't think it's fair to criticize in light of pandemic, labor shortages, etc.


    I was in the food service business for 15 years and I will say this. The industry is getting what they deserve. The way that I have seen restaurant operations do to their employees over the years would NOT be tolerated in any other industry. And I must add that the "local independents" are usually worse than the big chain operations.

    I spent the last three months in Southern Ohio suffering through restaurants being closed during normal hours and the like. What I find ironic is that the restaurants that treat their employees right are not that affected by the labor situation. However the restaurants that my family had bad experiences working for cannot seen to find the necessary help. I wonder why. (g)
  • Post #98 - October 25th, 2021, 2:12 pm
    Post #98 - October 25th, 2021, 2:12 pm Post #98 - October 25th, 2021, 2:12 pm
    It's funny, just the other day someone was saying, "When I was young, we didn't go out to eat, we ate at home, dining out was a special occasion, but now we eat out all the time."
    Certainly the percent of retail space that's dining has increased, and I think there's some of this. My parents went through some lean years when I was young (never would I say we were poor), but there were certainly McD's or Browns Chicken nights, pizza, Chinese... not too different from today but probably a little less frequently. Special occasions were Carson's Ribs or one of the Highwood Italian joints.

    There have certainly been cycles of dining in and out, depending largely on availability of labor: the (auto?)biography of Charlie Chaplin talks about not being able to afford to cook at home -- it was cheaper to dine out.

    Prices are going up, and will for a bit. I personally don't believe we're heading into a period of sustained inflation like we had in the late 70s/early 80s -- we have better understanding and control over the economy than we had then. But there will probably be a couple years of rapid price increases until things settle out.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #99 - November 10th, 2021, 11:40 am
    Post #99 - November 10th, 2021, 11:40 am Post #99 - November 10th, 2021, 11:40 am
    I think this email we received at work from our credit card company is an unfortunate function of the current era . . .

    in an email, our annoying credit card company wrote: Hi there,

    I noticed a 36% tip on your recent HOWARD ST. INN bill.

    While some are tipping a little extra these days to support businesses and workers they love, I want to make sure this tip is correct.

    I'd never seen anything like this. The total amount of the tip was $10. Wow, just wow.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #100 - November 10th, 2021, 11:48 am
    Post #100 - November 10th, 2021, 11:48 am Post #100 - November 10th, 2021, 11:48 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I think this email we received at work from our credit card company is an unfortunate function of the current era . . .

    in an email, our annoying credit card company wrote: Hi there,

    I noticed a 36% tip on your recent HOWARD ST. INN bill.

    While some are tipping a little extra these days to support businesses and workers they love, I want to make sure this tip is correct.

    I'd never seen anything like this. The total amount of the tip was $10. Wow, just wow.

    I appreciate that the credit company is watching out for unusual activity, even if the dollar amount was small. Our company caps tipping at 20%, which seems stingy in these times.
    -Mary
  • Post #101 - November 10th, 2021, 11:52 am
    Post #101 - November 10th, 2021, 11:52 am Post #101 - November 10th, 2021, 11:52 am
    Ha, that's hilarious.

    And I will say for the low prices that Howard Street inn charges, the waitstaff there definitely deserve that higher tip %.
  • Post #102 - November 10th, 2021, 12:48 pm
    Post #102 - November 10th, 2021, 12:48 pm Post #102 - November 10th, 2021, 12:48 pm
    I generally appreciate it when credit card companies ask for verification, just because I don't like fraud and I know they (and all of us) have to pay when it occurs. I recently bought a $1000 gift card from Amazon and an actual person phoned me to verify it. That's fine.

    Still, I'm surprised they would question this. Not just because the amount is small, but also because the tip percentage isn't all that ridiculous. I've tipped 36+ percent on quite a few occasions, and it was never questioned. (Sometimes the server did something above and beyond, sometimes I was eating alone with no drinks and a normal percentage tip would have been way too small, sometimes I was with someone else and one of us ordered a lot more than the other so we had them split the check and one of us paid the entire tip for the table.)
  • Post #103 - November 10th, 2021, 1:46 pm
    Post #103 - November 10th, 2021, 1:46 pm Post #103 - November 10th, 2021, 1:46 pm
    This anecdote adds to the list of reasons I virtually always tip in cash. At least give the staff the opportunity to avoid having to pay taxes on it.
  • Post #104 - November 10th, 2021, 1:51 pm
    Post #104 - November 10th, 2021, 1:51 pm Post #104 - November 10th, 2021, 1:51 pm
    bweiny wrote:This anecdote adds to the list of reasons I virtually always tip in cash. At least give the staff the opportunity to avoid having to pay taxes on it.

    LOL - I can just see my employee taking money out of his/her own pocket to tip in cash at a business lunch. I wish! :lol:

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #105 - November 19th, 2021, 4:00 pm
    Post #105 - November 19th, 2021, 4:00 pm Post #105 - November 19th, 2021, 4:00 pm
    Emerald Loop (Wabash & Haddock, which is halfway between Wacker and Lake) will not get another visit from me until the pandemic is truly over. We'd made a reservation to make sure we'd get dinner between Ogilvie and Chicago Shakespeare, and while all the staff were wearing masks, about half of them apparently haven't figured out how masks need to be worn, 20 months into a worldwide pandemic -- including our server. If it wasn't for the fact that I'm vaccinated, and the alternative would end up being fast food, I almost walked out.

    On the other hand, the fish and chips were very good, coming with ketchup, malt vinegar, old bay-flavored tartar, and an absurdly small serving of slaw. It was a big slab of battered cod, light and flaky, with crisp fries. SueF had a burger with Irish and American bacon, looked like they got medium-rare right.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang

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