Only low types eat out on a Saturday night?
- Michael Lewis Oct 6, 2001 05:50 PM
Pierre Koffman has never opened his restaurant over the weekend. As well as respecting the needs of his staff to be able to follow the social rhythms of normal folk, he makes a distinction between Saturday Nighters and all the rest.
Mike, you sound like one big snob. Some people who work and have children, find themselves in the problem of only finding a sitter on Saturdays. I ate at the old Tante Claire and have his book on Gascony. He,s great and it is thoughtful of him to operate that way, but, PLEASE don't lump people that way.
re: mimi taylor
Mimi, my sentiments exactly.
I eat out a lot on Saturdays because (1) my working hours are relatively unpredictable on weekdays, making reservations difficult (many with whom I work are in NYC, which is 5 hours behind London), and (2) I like the feeling on Saturday nights of being in the middle of the weekend. In addition to La Tante Claire, I think Putney Bridge and Petrus are good places for Saturday night.
Here in New Zealand the reverse is true, for three reasons:
1. Tourists. In many restaurants, tourists dominate during the week. Who else is going to order everything on the menu in a favorable-exchange-rate frenzy and order many bottles of wine on a Wednesday night? Tourists keep many of the finer dining options in NZ open and profitable. This never-on-a-Saturday restaurant may also be profiting from out of town diners.
2. Family life. It is true that many quite respectable diners find it easier to get a sitter on Saturday (not a school night.)
3. Social convention. Instead of having private parties, because houses/apartments are small, many people have parties in restaurants.
I think the book Kitchen Confidential covers this same subject and does differentiate between the saturday and midweek trade. The assumption being that the sat. customers are special occasion type diners, whereas the midweek people tend to be more regular. A restaurant can't survive only on the sat. trade, so the midweek cust. is really appreciated, and is likely to be treated very well. This is also due to the fact the restaurant is less likely to be slammed. As one who has worked in professional kitchens, I can tell you you're more likely to have a better experience in the midweek. Good restaurants strive to be consistent and will put out good food and service regardless of the day, but the reality is that you'll get more attention and respect, however subtle, during the week.