Friday, February 13, 2009

This month I am loving....

bin ends. We are in the process of streamlining the stock and using up all the odds and sods downstairs. In part it has enabled me to bring in my carafe idea, albeit on a smaller scale. Ive incorporated a page into the wine-list with a suggestion to complement the tasting menu by the 250ml carafe. Luckily, cheffie is playing along so far and has been designing a menu which is very conducive to me removing a lot of stock from the cellar. Unluckily, we are also running a special invitation menu at £45 for three course including coffee and petit fours, and bugger me if it isnt filling the restaurant through the week. The end result is that we are doing an average of 25 covers a night tuesday to thursday (full as usual friday and saturday) but everyone is taking the £45 menu. Its great to get all these bums on seats, especially during a recession, and even better is that is seems to be new faces for us. Hopefully we can convert some of them to new customers.

Hallmark Holidays

Tomorrow marks the motherlode of Hallmark Holidays, St Valentines Day. My loathing of HH's is, I would think fairly evident. Quite hypocritical, Im sure you might think, given that I work somewhere that will benefit considerably from the "festivities" tomorrow. But there is a reason that I hate them, passionately. For tomorrow night (and indeed tonight) we will generally be full of people that wouldnt normally dine here. Normally that would be a good thing, after all it is exposing the restaurant to the potential customer of the future. But Hallmark Holidays bring a different sort of person out into restaurants. Over the last few days the phones have been ringing frantically with all sorts of people DESPERATE to secure a table tomorrow night. In some cases so desperate that they are willing to resort to threats, begging and all kinds of measures in order to get what they want (except of course the obvious one of being organised enough to get a table booked more than the day before!). I find it a sad reflection on the state of modern humanity that people rarely resort to niceness. If they cant get what they want they start namedropping (I know xx or Im best friends with Gerald - yes right!), or they threaten to go over your head ( I want to speak to the manager/owner/managing director/whatever).

As a restaurant, we love Hallmark Holidays because they give us a guaranteed fill. We are charging £180 per person for tomorrow night for a five course set menu with wines to complement, a red rose and small gift from Space NK for the lady. £360 per table. In a recession!! And yes we are full, with five relays. But it is fair to say that we wont see many of those faces back in the restaurant again until the next HH - Mothers Day. Happy Valentines!!