Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Fox Special ... When Menus Attack

I was at Range for dinner last night (dinner was great) and one of the things I really admired about the restaurant was the menu. Range's menu was concise, simple and offered all the necessary choices for diners from all preferences (you know, like pesky vegetarians). Other successful restaurants in this city and others, (e.g NoPa, Boulevard, Mofo Ssam to name few) are very good examples about incorporating simple, straightforward, and well written menus that don't try to challenge the diner's English reading level during each dinner experience.

As I have been narrowing down a restaurant concept the last month or so, I've had more and more discussions regarding menu size and design. I think one of the most annoying things I've encountered at restaurants is an overly complex menu with too many choices and ridiculous subsections. I'm not sure how others feel, but when I get a menu that's thicker than a small novel, I'm a tad demoralized.

Simplifying a menu does not mean the food has to even be different, but it must offer clarity for the diner. Limiting a menu and showing restraint can also help simplify some of the challenges of over-extending kitchen staff and prep times. I also think the most important and overlooked aspect is customer satisfaction and turnover time. A concise and well worded menu means the diner can select/place their order more efficiently and expect their food sooner rather than later. It also means less buffer time for the customer spent reading, less buffer time for the kitchen between turns, and less buffer time for the waitstaff between seatings. Less time wasted normally equates to more customers served and more money saved.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Great Ideas for July 4 - Throw A Swine Flu Party

So I've been out with a fever and subsequent recovery the last week and a half so please don't blame me for forsaking my blogging duties. My brain has simply stopped processing for obvious reasons. Today, I found an awesome article on new and exciting way to spice up your July 4 holiday parties.

From the BBC, people are apparently throwing Swine Flu Parties where hosts invite guests with the swine flu in hopes of creating a vaccinating type exposure for all the guests.

"Throwing "swine flu parties" in an attempt to get immunity against the virus while it is a fairly mild form is not a good idea, doctors say.
Reports have emerged of people intentionally mixing with friends who have flu.Their reasoning is that it is best to be infected before the winter when the virus could become more deadly."

All types of great ideas can be done for this fantastic party. I have already done some of the leg work and come up with some fantastic options for you and your guests.

Swine Flu Independence Day Party Ideas:

1. Serve sangria and mixed drinks in large communal scorpion bowl, where everyone gets a taste of everyone else.

2. Encourage double dipping. Dip the chip, take a bite and dip it again and again and again.

3. Reinstate childhood classics like Spin The Bottle, Seven Minutes In Heaven or just plain old raunchy saliva exchanges.

4. Close all the windows and set the heat to a germ breeding 80 degrees warmth.

5. Encourage less handwashing, especially when handling food.

6. Forsake serving utensils and encourage people to share items by passing them on their own forks and spoons.