A restaurant owner’s unusual request

The owner of a restaurant came up to me and sought my advice on how to “free up” his restaurant. You see while his restaurant is very popular – the food is great and the prices, reasonable – the space in the restaurant is limited to maximum of 30 persons only and his problem is that customers tend to stay a little bit longer than they should – talking, laughing, conspiring, studying, reading, facebooking (all unrelated to dining), etc., and thus, he has been turning precious customers away as “there is no more room in the inn.” He is a victim of his own success. Since the food and the ambience is excellent, people come but they also stay longer than is necessary (as far as he is concerned). So, he asks, what strategies can be employed to “free up” some space, i.e. that customers continue to patronize his restaurant and, yet, at the same time, they leave once they are done eating so that he can accommodate additional customers. He is a kindhearted chef and does not want to employ the strategy of some restaurants where waiters rudely clean the tables, get the used plates, glasses and utensils away even when you are not done yet. He thinks it is bastos and has the effect of shooing the customers away.┬áIt was an unusual request and I welcomed the opportunity to “think” through his unusual problem. He offered to give the banana apple pie I was eating for free in exchange for my “advice”. So here it is – the things we thought of: Continue reading “A restaurant owner’s unusual request”