I was amused by a Q & A article in yesterday’s New York Times. The questioner complains about a new restaurant in which the menu offers patrons the option of ordering a “six-pack for the kitchen,” a choice, the writer explains, the waiter pointed out “before we’d even ordered drinks, let alone a first course that might let me discern whether the food was worth a tip.”
“Mr. Critic” Sam Sifton agreed with the questioner that “a server pushing the business on a table is lame, lame, lame.” But he also points out that it’s a way of enticing customers and employees to connect:
The gesture can elevate the mood of a restaurant in ways that have very little to do with the consumption of alcohol and everything to do with the creation of bonds between those consuming food and those preparing it.
Connection feeds the soul. But if one is forced into rewarding employees, it’s more like an arranged marriage!
Then again, the option doesn’t even have to be on the menu. In a good restaurant, where the staff is friendly, and the chef makes herself accessible to patrons, it elevates the experience, and you want to say “thank you” in more than words or tip. So go ahead, think of something special. Damn, the last time I was at Michy’s, and Michelle Bernstein came out to chat with us, I should have bought her a glass of champagne!