The Commercial Imperative
Posted 16 February 2004 - 04:19 PM
To clarify, I'm not talking about compromising on quality of ingredients or kitchen practice, but more about what the New York customer might expect to see in terms of presentation, number of elements, degree of preperational complexity and difficulty for their dollar.
Posted 17 February 2004 - 02:49 PM
I know you said that you weren't talking about compromising the quality of ingredients, but the quality versus quantity conflict is an on-going issue for me. Ultimately, I want guests to perceive that they are getting a good value when they come to my restaurant for dinner, and an easy way for a guest to perceive value is based on the quantity of food they see in front of them. It is much harder for some of them to perceive the quality of the ingredients they are eating. For example, one night a few weeks ago, a man approached me to complain about the size of his tuna appetizer. What he did not realize is that he was getting the best quality tuna there is--the stuff all the best sushi restaurants use. To him, that didn't matter; he would have been happier with 8 ounces of mediocre fish. But for those kind of people, I will never compromise. They can go elsewhere if they want to eat large portions of a crappy fish.
Incidentally, I know a popular restaurant that buys C grade tuna, which is a pretty unappetizing color, and reddens it with beet juice just so they can serve whopping portions and make a big profit. That kind of stuff disgusts me and I would never go down that road, no matter what the commercial rewards might be.
Posted 17 February 2004 - 03:16 PM
Posted 17 February 2004 - 05:09 PM
Chef, that is a take on the arguement I hadn't considered when posing the question. To be honest, I hadn't anticipated that you might have customers with a "quantity-over-quality" approach to dining.
I know you said that you weren't talking about compromising the quality of ingredients, but the quality versus quantity conflict is an on-going issue for me.