Kitchen Tour offers?
Was at a restaraunt last night with a client and received a very nice offer for a kitchen tour, thought it was a pleasant surprise but ended up relaizing that it was a really effective way for them to get us to get off our butts and leave the table so they could turn it.
By the time we left the kitchen there was allready another group at our table - menus and drinks in hand
Is that the primary reason for kitchen tour offers?
I doubt it. I've had kitchen tours at Eleven Madison Park during my meal which has the opposite effect: I end up staying longer at my table. I've had kitchen tours at the end of my meals at Per Se (most recently last week at lunch), but since it was 4:00, Per Se was not trying to turn the table since their earliest dinner reservation would be 5:30. I think it's very nice when a restaurant offers a kitchen tour, and wouldn't think that there is any evil intent behind it.
You might find this interesting, from the New Yorker piece on EMP.
Title: Check, Please
Author(s): John Colapinto
Source: The New Yorker. 88.27 (Sept. 10, 2012): p58.
The kitchen tour and lounge visit, deployed late in the meal, also solved a problem that bedevils every restaurateur: how to get people up from the table so that the next customers can be seated, a feat known as "the turn." Fast-food places, which must turn every few minutes, use bright primary colors and loud, fast music to encourage people to eat faster. In fine dining, the turn is enacted differently, but it's no less important. For Eleven Madison Park, which now reduced its seats to eighty-eight, an extra half-turn--forty-four seatings--would bring in thousands of dollars more each night. Daniel, a three-Michelin-star restaurant on the Upper East Side run by Daniel Boulud, monitors patrons with discreet cameras in the dining room. Before a fork is lowered after a course, cooks watching from the kitchen can insure that the next dish is ready, shaving vital minutes off the meal.
Humm and Guidara rejected the idea of using cameras; it would be too difficult in their cavernous dining room. The kitchen tour and lounge visit was their solution.
Yes we had finished a 3 hour 12 course tasting menu and had coffees and had paid the 4 four digit bill - so we may have needed the prod - it worked great and that is why I posted the thread - it was much better than someone coming over and asking every few minutes if we wanted something else or blantantly saying people were waiting for the table
- two of our group ended up continuing drinking at the bar after the "tour" was complete