The necessary extra, part 2

By: trademagazin Date: 2010. 03. 22. 08:00

The biggest mistake a bar or a restaurant can commit is being interchangeable. A place must stand out, otherwise it will be just another grey patch in the mass. As promised, in the second part of our article you find ideas and concepts that are not traditionally service-related, but with a bit of organisation can be fitted into the activity of a restaurant and may satisfy market demand. If a restaurant is famous because of its cuisine, probably some of the guests would like to learn a few tricks from the chef. Café kubitscheck in Munich has been receiving guests since 1959 and is often referred to as an economic miracle since a former guest took the place over. He equipped the kitchen with state of the art machinery and started organising cookery courses as well. Renowned young chefs run the courses and students can learn how to make fast and simple menus or more complex series of dishes. The maximum number of participants is 20 per occasion, but for the French gourmet course this number is limited to 8. Rustic Kitchen in Boston is famous for its creative marketing activity, but recently they also started organising cookery courses – these turned out to be so popular that they built a lecture hall where they hold weekly cookery shows. In these shows participants follow the small jobs via monitors and they can take home the recorded show. Groups of 16-20 people can participate. Team building with colleagues or party in the kitchen with friends: high spirits, a creative pastime and getting to know each other – and all this while cooking. This is how we could characterise the complete service offered by a Californian chef in guests’ home. ‘Parties That Cook’ provides the service for USD 80-200 and for an extra charge they even bring the tables, plates or decoration. The company’s staff first introduce the base materials and the cooking methods, then help to prepare the courses and a sommelier guides the wine selection. A jury of chefs evaluates the meals and finally participants eat what they cooked. Per Se restaurant in New York organises recession dinners. Thomas Keller, the owner realised that despite the recession the averagely rich do not wish to give up luxury dinners, they just do not want to irritate others with their spending. Per Se offers ‘Michelin-quality in your home’ for USD 70 per hour; a 14-course dinner costs an extra USD 260 per person, less than in the restaurant…McCormick & Schmick’s seafood restaurants offer their quality base materials via their website to those who are unable to visit any of their 85 restaurants. Another chain, Olive Garden publishes its recipes and preparation technology on its website, while a Singapore restaurant helps those who like home cooking by buying, preparing and delivering all the base materials – users of the service can cook their meal in less than 30 minutes, and they only pay for the price of material and delivery. Philly Kitchen Share of Philadelphia rents out two kitchens at an hourly rate of USD 40-45. One of them serves classic cooking and catering purposes, while in the other bakery equipment dominates. Owners were surprised to see the diversity of their customers.

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