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General Food, Dining and Nightlife News
(02-09-2019, 02:04 PM)Spokes Wrote:
(02-09-2019, 05:51 AM)tomh009 Wrote: Tapas is indeed a good comparison. And like a tapas bar, no one will ever kick you out because you either exceeded a time limit, or stopped eating (because you are full): they are counting on you to stay there, hang out, and consume more (profitable) drinks.

This is something that has always bothered me about some restaurants, and in general about some places in North American culture.  What's the rush.  I loved going out for dinner in France.  Hours of just eating, drinking and hanging out, with zero pressure to move on.

There are economic incentives to turn over the seats. I don't know about AYCE economics but I do know that, in some sense, restaurants are in large part renting you the seats; food costs are typically only one-third of a restaurant's operating costs. So, the more turnover, the more money the restaurant makes. Like, if you have three seatings vs two in an evening, you're grossing 50% more.

Of course, that could just be an indication that something is fundamentally wrong with our society. But restaurant economics are only a reflection of the society.
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Easy remedy (if seating time is not specifically defined) is to simply not accept the bill until you are ready to leave.  And no “I’ll just leave it here for when you’re ready”.  Rather “I’ll let you know when I’m ready for the bill”.

Although taking up seating space purely to socialize at a spot where people are lined up waiting for a table seems rather poor form to me.
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(02-09-2019, 03:08 PM)plam Wrote:
(02-09-2019, 02:04 PM)Spokes Wrote: This is something that has always bothered me about some restaurants, and in general about some places in North American culture.  What's the rush.  I loved going out for dinner in France.  Hours of just eating, drinking and hanging out, with zero pressure to move on.

There are economic incentives to turn over the seats. I don't know about AYCE economics but I do know that, in some sense, restaurants are in large part renting you the seats; food costs are typically only one-third of a restaurant's operating costs. So, the more turnover, the more money the restaurant makes. Like, if you have three seatings vs two in an evening, you're grossing 50% more.

Of course, that could just be an indication that something is fundamentally wrong with our society. But restaurant economics are only a reflection of the society.

For most restaurants, adult beverages are more profitable than food is. But in the end it really depends on the restaurant's business model, and an AYCE restaurant is very much not a pub or a bar (which is all about socializing while having drinks).
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(02-09-2019, 03:08 PM)plam Wrote:
(02-09-2019, 02:04 PM)Spokes Wrote: This is something that has always bothered me about some restaurants, and in general about some places in North American culture.  What's the rush.  I loved going out for dinner in France.  Hours of just eating, drinking and hanging out, with zero pressure to move on.

There are economic incentives to turn over the seats. I don't know about AYCE economics but I do know that, in some sense, restaurants are in large part renting you the seats; food costs are typically only one-third of a restaurant's operating costs. So, the more turnover, the more money the restaurant makes. Like, if you have three seatings vs two in an evening, you're grossing 50% more.

Of course, that could just be an indication that something is fundamentally wrong with our society. But restaurant economics are only a reflection of the society.

That's what I'm saying.  Sure, I get restaurants are businesses and need to make money.  But is that any different in Europe?  It's a cultural thing.
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I just saw that a Church's Chicken is opening up in Waterloo

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/ch...68506.html
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(02-09-2019, 11:57 PM)Spokes Wrote:
(02-09-2019, 03:08 PM)plam Wrote: There are economic incentives to turn over the seats. I don't know about AYCE economics but I do know that, in some sense, restaurants are in large part renting you the seats; food costs are typically only one-third of a restaurant's operating costs. So, the more turnover, the more money the restaurant makes. Like, if you have three seatings vs two in an evening, you're grossing 50% more.

Of course, that could just be an indication that something is fundamentally wrong with our society. But restaurant economics are only a reflection of the society.

That's what I'm saying.  Sure, I get restaurants are businesses and need to make money.  But is that any different in Europe?  It's a cultural thing.

It's complicated. Restaurants aren't super high margin, so if they make less money, they might go out of business. The cost structure might be different in Europe; rents, salaries, and food costs don't have to line up as they do here (in a way that makes it hard to stay in business). I've never really run the numbers but it would seem very Ontario to want restaurants to cost as little as possible. Which then means that they have to get more people in.
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(02-10-2019, 12:48 AM)plam Wrote:
(02-09-2019, 11:57 PM)Spokes Wrote: That's what I'm saying.  Sure, I get restaurants are businesses and need to make money.  But is that any different in Europe?  It's a cultural thing.

It's complicated. Restaurants aren't super high margin, so if they make less money, they might go out of business. The cost structure might be different in Europe; rents, salaries, and food costs don't have to line up as they do here (in a way that makes it hard to stay in business). I've never really run the numbers but it would seem very Ontario to want restaurants to cost as little as possible. Which then means that they have to get more people in.
Reply
(02-09-2019, 02:04 PM)Spokes Wrote:
(02-09-2019, 05:51 AM)tomh009 Wrote: Tapas is indeed a good comparison. And like a tapas bar, no one will ever kick you out because you either exceeded a time limit, or stopped eating (because you are full): they are counting on you to stay there, hang out, and consume more (profitable) drinks.

This is something that has always bothered me about some restaurants, and in general about some places in North American culture.  What's the rush.  I loved going out for dinner in France.  Hours of just eating, drinking and hanging out, with zero pressure to move on.

Profits! Gotta have tables turning over as fast as possible so you can get as many customers through the door every night. I don't know how much servers are responsible for this but since they make money on tips, the more tables that turn over the more they'd make on tips perhaps?
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(02-09-2019, 05:08 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(02-09-2019, 03:08 PM)plam Wrote: There are economic incentives to turn over the seats. I don't know about AYCE economics but I do know that, in some sense, restaurants are in large part renting you the seats; food costs are typically only one-third of a restaurant's operating costs. So, the more turnover, the more money the restaurant makes. Like, if you have three seatings vs two in an evening, you're grossing 50% more.

Of course, that could just be an indication that something is fundamentally wrong with our society. But restaurant economics are only a reflection of the society.

For most restaurants, adult beverages are more profitable than food is. But in the end it really depends on the restaurant's business model, and an AYCE restaurant is very much not a pub or a bar (which is all about socializing while having drinks).

It's funny, I was thinking this conversation strange, because I've almost never experienced a push to get out of a restaurant (the exception being the poor choice I made to go out for Valentines day one time Tongue), but I frequent pubs and bars quite a bit.  I also tend not to go out on the busiest days...which probably helps.
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(02-10-2019, 12:48 AM)plam Wrote:
(02-09-2019, 11:57 PM)Spokes Wrote: That's what I'm saying.  Sure, I get restaurants are businesses and need to make money.  But is that any different in Europe?  It's a cultural thing.

It's complicated. Restaurants aren't super high margin, so if they make less money, they might go out of business. The cost structure might be different in Europe; rents, salaries, and food costs don't have to line up as they do here (in a way that makes it hard to stay in business). I've never really run the numbers but it would seem very Ontario to want restaurants to cost as little as possible. Which then means that they have to get more people in.

I'd be curious.  Might be hard info to come by if available at all
Reply
(02-10-2019, 11:39 PM)Spokes Wrote:
(02-10-2019, 12:48 AM)plam Wrote: It's complicated. Restaurants aren't super high margin, so if they make less money, they might go out of business. The cost structure might be different in Europe; rents, salaries, and food costs don't have to line up as they do here (in a way that makes it hard to stay in business). I've never really run the numbers but it would seem very Ontario to want restaurants to cost as little as possible. Which then means that they have to get more people in.

I'd be curious.  Might be hard info to come by if available at all

It varies widely from restaurant to restaurant, though, even in the same city. The amount of space, the number of staff and ingredient costs all have big ranges.
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(02-11-2019, 05:55 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(02-10-2019, 11:39 PM)Spokes Wrote: I'd be curious.  Might be hard info to come by if available at all

It varies widely from restaurant to restaurant, though, even in the same city. The amount of space, the number of staff and ingredient costs all have big ranges.

I would also assume that people are willing to pay higher menu prices than they are in North America.
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(02-11-2019, 09:55 PM)BruceAshe Wrote:
(02-11-2019, 05:55 PM)tomh009 Wrote: It varies widely from restaurant to restaurant, though, even in the same city. The amount of space, the number of staff and ingredient costs all have big ranges.

I would also assume that people are willing to pay higher menu prices than they are in North America.

It all depends where you are, and what kind of restaurant it is. There are countries much more expensive than ours, and ones much cheaper. But then you should look at the restaurant prices compared to general purchasing power. It's a complex situation. It's impossible to have any kind of generalized answers for this.

But I can tell you that if I am sitting in a small izakaya in Tokyo with three friends, and we're each sipping $6 pints of draft for 2-3 hours and ordering an occasional additional dish, and there are two staff members running the place with only six total customers, no one is getting rich on this.
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