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Everything posted by McTee

  1. Deuce Media Opening - Pending Delay We would like to thank all members of the Vancouver restaurant media and hospitality industry for their support of Deuce Restaurant and our scheduled opening event on Thursday, July 26th. Regretfully, due to the current labour situation affecting Vancouver and the surrounding municipalities we have postponed this event until further notice. We would like to thank all our guests for their understanding in this delay and look forward to seeing you at the rescheduled event in the coming weeks. Please do not hesitate to contact Brielle Wong or Amanda Godin at our head office via email at brielle@elementgroup.ca or directly at 604-684-7900 with any questions or concerns. Keep checking our website at www.deucerestaurant.ca for ongoing updates and more information. Thank you for your understanding and I look forward to seeing you in the weeks to come. Sincerely, Brielle Wong Promotions & Events Coordinator Element Hospitality Group
  2. And come summer, probably another 5 or 6 that had just opened........ My list is a bit longer than yours, and gets added to on a regular basis.
  3. There is a more industry-centric conversation going on over at Waiterforum. Unfortunately, Urban Diner is under repair today (hopefully back up tomorrow, techies permitting), but members can enter through this backdoor. From my owns travels and after reading the many WF comments over the last week, folks seem to be doing just fine. Cin Cin, fo example, did well over 300 last night, and dinner at West saw them looking to do 3 turns this past Wednesday with their last reso scheduled for 10:15pm. The few higher end places that aren't doing DOV have been packed, too. Tis the season for dining. ← I would think that the more recognized restaurants (like the Top Table group) wouldn't see a difference, as they are most in demand. For us it's a bit different,considering we're more known for music than anything else, not exactly a staple in the industry conversations and news. I think that between the fact that there are even more participating restaurants this year, and quite a few disenchanted diners (disappointing past experiences & not into the boxing day atmosphere) it may mean that everyone's piece of the pie may be a bit smaller. Of course this would have no effect on the Cin Cins and Wests of the scene. Just a theory
  4. ^ Ha!. Since people are in the mood for rolling epithets like "spoiled brats", let me be the first to say "Chicken!" ← Honestly, I didn't think of it. We really haven't had that much of an issue with it this year. I do agree to charge for honey & lemon, but I also believe that if you aren't charging for cold water w/lemon, it's hard to justify charging for hot water w/lemon (assuming that you aren't serving in the pot), if it's just in a cup. In a guest's eyes, it's $1.25 to heat the water. Neil has obviously cornered the market on elaborate and decorative hot water service, so I won't try to compete. Maybe that's why you had 10 in a section? ha ha. On another note, to the restaurateurs out there, how are sales figures for you compared to last year's DOV? We aren't getting the early resos that we got last year, so it's down for us.
  5. In looking at it from a restaurant's POV, understand that the business must pay staff to serve all food & beverages. During DOV, it is a reality that there are a significantly higher percentage of guests that just drink water, or drink hot water & lemon. It probably takes a server longer to get hot water & lemon (especially if served in a teapot), than it does to ring in and retrieve a glass of wine from the bar. As an industry insider, I don't view any restaurant's choice to charge for HW & Lemon as cheeky or insulting, just a simple acknowledgment that there is a cost to the restaurant for providing something that may otherwise be provided for free. To me the only question, (and the reason we don't charge) is that if you are going to charge for HW & Lemon, you need to charge for Cold Water & Lemon as well, and most restaurants would never do that. One can't justify the cost of lemons as $1.25 per wedge, getting 8 wedges per lemon, which becomes $10.00 for a single lemon. That's a very hefty markup. Parkside has a very small room, so with a lot of people drinking free beverages, it can significantly hurt the business. If a $1.25 charge turns people off, then the seat will be filled with a guest willing to pay $10 for a glass of wine instead. Understand that revenues for a restaurant are limited to the number of chairs that you have, and your legal capacity of patrons. In order to make the business viable, restaurant owners and managers try to figure out ways to maximize the revenues for those seats. That's the simple business aspect of running a restaurant. Compare that to say, an insurance company or a bank. They will take as many customers that walk through the door or call on the phone. If the phone rang 24/7, they would change their hours to 24/7 if it meant revenue, and if 1 million people called per day, they would figure out how to handle 1 million calls per day. Honestly, before criticizing restaurant policies, one should seek to understand what the impact of it is. Does anyone honestly think that a restaurant would intentionally insult the lifeblood of their business? To go online into a public forum and use such severe words such as 'spoiled brats' and 'tasteless' just shows a lack of understanding and a lack of desire to do so. Don't get me wrong, I do understand that the guests, being the most important part of the restaurant industry feel like they are a PART of the industry, but in reality, unless one has worked the 12 hour shift RUNNING the entire time fetching people their dinner, there is still some understanding that needs to be done before criticisms are fired. Other businesses charge "administration fees" for someone to file a piece of paper. Water in restaurants is pretty much the last free thing on earth, and if $1.25 is too steep a price to pay, just wait until the day comes that restaurants ONLY offer bottled water, taking the hard line of not offering anything for free. While I won't charge for hot water & lemon, I don't blame Parkside for doing it.
  6. At Capones, we will be extending the dine out menu through Feb. 8th. As of Feb. 9, we will be offering a Valentine's menu that will run through Feb. 18. Ian
  7. At Capones, we have taken the opportunity this year to address some of the major challenges that occurred last year under previous management. 1. 90 minute seating times simply didn't work. There were instances of guests receiving their food and having to leave shortly afterwards. We are now allotting 120 minutes, with a 15 minute grace period to ensure that we can get set up in time for the next reservation, as well to allow for the inevitable fact that some guests will arrive slightly late. 2. Portion sizes this year will be full sized. Last year their was a perception that the portions were inadequate, even for the $35 price tag. 3. We will only be reserving the tables in our 'main room', that has a view of the stage and performers. On Fridays and Saturdays, we will also have a performer in 'The Vault', our private dining room, and booking reservations in there. This will leave our 'Sunroom', which does not have a view of our stage, for walk-ins and potential hotel concierge referrals. My opinion on Dine Out Vancouver is that although it is not a loyalty building program, we will do approximately 3,000 covers during the 2 weeks, which means that this number of people will be leaving us and discussing their experiences, good or bad. I would rather have 3,000 positive experiences than 2,000 great and 1,500 poor ones with the extra few bucks in revenues, to say nothing of the sanity of my management and staff. Having taken these measures, I feel that we will have a great year with DOV. Enjoy, everyone!
  8. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver has a Manhattan Seafood Chowder as their house soup. It has mixed seafood (fish & shellfish), and is very popular, so I guess it's considered to be pretty good. Available in both Griffins and 900 West Lounge.
  9. Wow, it's nice to see that Capones is looking to improve themselves. I'm of the latter group - I was relatively pleased with the food, (as well as the drinks and music) on my one visit during the Jazz fest in 2005, but I felt like I got the "look you up and down to decide if you're worthy of sucking up or not" type of snobby service, from both the man who showed me to the table, and somewhat from the server, and never returned. My dining companion, who arrived separately concurred. We're both self-proclaimed foodies who spend a lot of money on dining out, and clean ourselves up to dine in a restaurant, but neither of us are terribly interested in flashing any sort of bling. The attitude ruining the experience was very unfortunate, because I love jazz, love the experience of being able to enjoy live music and food and drinks at the same time, and I live fairly close by too (downtown). The actual logistics of the service - timing, knowledge, etc. were fine. But at the price point of Capones, there should really be no service issues. If the changes result in a snobbery-free evening, I'd be willing to give it another try. Thanks for the invitation to give feedback. ← Hi DumplingGirl, First of all, thank you for sharing this experience, I think that it helps me to understand the past. Without knowing who exactly showed you to your table and served you, I feel confident in saying that neither of them is likely here anymore. Most of the staff have been with us for less than a year now. Should anything like this happen again, I would love to learn about it in order to properly address these issues. My new Bar Manager, Angie has just come aboard and we are definitely on the same page with regards to raising the bar when it comes to the performance. I definitely agree that given the price point of the entrees, the service should not be an issue. Ian
  10. Does this mean I don't ket a key to the VIP room? Sounds like you've got a big project ahead. You sticking to jazz fr the music? A. ← Yes, the music lineup isn't going to change much, if at all. That part of the equation seems to be relatively solid. As I see it, the largest task is in giving the place a little polish. There have already been some significant esthetic improvements, so my job is a lot easier with that stuff in place. Ian
  11. Poor Arne, you will never escape being regarded as the forum admin even after you decided to step out of the limelight Thanks for the gracious invite McTee. My SO has been talking about trying this place for a while now. Perhaps we'll drop in and say hi. ← Sorry Arne, I haven't been around egullet much in the past few months, so I was unaware that you are no longer the admin. My fault. Ian
  12. After a few months of focussing on the wine list as Bar Manager, I have now stepped in as the new General Manager of Capones Restaurant & Live Jazz Club in Yaletown. I think that it is fair to say that Capones is known to many different people as many different things, some more familiar with us for music and drinks, and others know us more as a restaurant with good food and 'hit and miss' service. My vision for Capones is to continue to be one of downtown's premiere live music venues while providing a quality dining experience, resulting in a combination of dinner and entertainment that is unmatched in Vancouver. To be realistic, we will not be trying to steal regulars from Cioppino's and Blue Water, but the quality of our food offering is vastly underrated in my opinion. Having spent almost 7 years in the hotel industry, my mission for the service at Capones is to individualize every experience as much as possible, recognizing and anticipating guests' needs to have every guest feel truly cared for. I do realize that Capones has a service reputation that is in need of repair, and my intention is to address this as quickly as I can. My reason for posting here is that I value the honest feedback that you have all given on many restaurants here in Vancouver, and I truly respect your passion and love for food, wine, cocktails and the restaurant experience in general. I personally invite you to try Capones again for the first time and see some of the changes that have recently taken place, like the decor and the new menu layouts. As I don't know many of you by face, please feel free to ask for me personally so that I may have the pleasure of putting the face to the name, and please don't forget to bring your 'decoder rings'. I encourage any and all feedback regarding your experiences, either by PM here on egullet or any other avenue that you choose. I also encourage the use of this thread (hopefully with Daddy-A's blessing) for any of you to let me know what you have experienced in the past, to help me understand the true impression that guests have had. Please be my guest and enjoy a full dinner, a pizza, or just tapas and a cocktail at one of Vancouver's great venues for live entertainment on a nightly basis. I am certain that you will be pleasantly surprised. Sincerely, Ian McTavish General Manager Capones Restaurant & Live Jazz Club
  13. I don't get it. Are Happy Hours not allowed in Vancouver? And I thought I lived in a Puritan Country! ← BC Liquor Laws are designed to discourage overconsumption. Therefore, all discounted prices (specials) for alcoholic beverages must run from open to close, unlike Happy Hour which encourages people to go out for an hour or two after work and pound back a bunch of drinks within a limited time. There is no regulation in terms of pricing or costing for food, so complimentary hors d'oeuvres and other food are perfectly acceptable. 900 West Lounge does offer complimentary snacks M-F from 5pm to 6:30pm. They have 7 selections that rotate on a daily basis. Get there on one of the days that chicken drummettes are offered, they're very good. Other days they have: Har Gow & Sui Mai, Mushroom tartlets, Spanakopitas, Samosas and I forget the rest. Drinks are expensive ($10 for martinis), but the food does make it more bearable.
  14. She is likely referring to the new location, at Hornby and Smithe. Best new comfort food? How many 'comfort food' restaurants have opened besides Diner? Sounds to me like Mia created categories to give awards to places she likes. Given the discussion on the thread about critics, I don't think we will be taking it too seriously.
  15. Very tough to devise a formula that works all the time due to all of the variables. Example: Guest buys a $500 bottle of wine. Guest will likely not tip 20% or even 10% on that bottle. 10% would mean a $50 grat for no more work or service than a less expensive bottle, and most would reason that the tip % should change in this instance. The server's tip out percentages don't change, however. Server must tip out a percentage of sales at the end of the night, therefore must tip out $5 as 1%, which adds up when you have all the different areas to tip out. It can be likely that a server may end up tipping out $25 to $30 on that sale, when only getting tipped less than that to start with. Every restaurant does things differently anyways, with the kitchen usually getting tipped on food sales only, bar getting tipped on liquor sales only, and door and manager getting tipped a small percentage on the entire Net sales figure. I do believe that every single person involved should get a cut, as the idea is to have everyone acting as a team. Managers get the salary because they work longer hours, and are ultimately taking responsibility for the work and the results of every other member of the team. That being said, managers are largely underpaid compared to other industries considering the prerequisite experience one (should) have to get the job. How many other industries do you know of that you work for 10 years to get a $40K/Year job?
  16. While understanding the point made that management salary is a cost of doing business, in order to pay a manager "fairly" for the amount of hours that they work would put a restaurant under faster than you can say your own name. Although I don't make grats in my management job, here is why managers make a cut of the huge pile of money at the end of the night. Who runs a good portion of your food? Me. Who clears and/or sets your tables when you are trying to look busy? Me. (I have met more waiters than I can count that won't lift a finger unless it is taking a plate or drink to a guest, feeling that everyone else but them should venture into the dreaded dish pit) Who (ideally) keeps the door staff under supervision, trying to ensure that they don't triple seat you? Me. Who ensures that your counterparts do their side duties so that you don't have to doily 200 plates, polish 100 glasses and countless cutlery at the end of the night? Me. Who deals with your angry guest when you have forgotten to call pick up/rang in the wrong order/spilled wine on their lap/been perceived as rude to them? Me. Why do managers get a cut? Because they too, are part of the team. Managers do not get treated as people in this business, unfortunately from both sides. To say "pay managers more with no cut of grats" is exactly like guests saying "pay servers more, so it costs me less in gratuities" It would be another separate thread to discuss the management jobs in the industry in terms of fair pay, hours, duties and theories as to how many managers to have on the payroll etc. but one that may be interesting.
  17. Hotel Van just signed a new CBA in August, and even before that a 1st Cook's wage was just over $20/hr. Part of the reason I left is because as a Department Head working 50+ hrs a week plus Christmas and other holidays I was making less than some of the cooks that spent their 8 hrs chopping carrots and peeling potatoes, when Stat holidays and OT were factored into things. That's why they celebrate a lot of 30 year anniversaries.
  18. I have found that Capone's has had consistently good food for years, and the live music is a big plus for dinner. For some reason, lunch is never busy although every other restaurant in Yaletown is packed. Hmmmm..........
  19. Yes, I can confirm this, I was out there last week to visit. The owner is Brad Herauf, who was a minority owner of Carlos n' Bud's. He moved out to Ladner a few years back to raise a family, and he has brought in a bunch of new kitchen equipment and will be opening a smokehouse Tex-Mex place, a bit more upscale than Carlos n' Bud's was, basically meaning none of the ridiculously cheap specials that attract the questionable clientele. The name will be "The Boot & Sombrero". Brad will be bringing the big drop down screen with projection TV to show sporting events. Opening date at this point is set for April 3, so we'll see how it goes!
  20. Is this the building beside the Delta Museum with the Olde English Towne theme?
  21. That sounds like a very good idea
  22. McTee


    My last two experiences at CinCin were like night and day, foodwise. I went for Dine Out in 2005 and had a pasta with braised rabbit that was so basic it was boring. I went again this year on the night before Dine Out started and had the regular menu which was very, very good. I think that the idea to expand DOV to include the $35 option was not a good one, given that the higher end restaurants need to adjust their menus too much in order to make it viable.
  23. The Prow was actually at the tip of the pier, unaffiliated with the Pan Pacific Hotel. It closed Dec. 23, 1998. And it costed a fortune to validate all that parking at Canada Place!
  24. Mr. Kanke no longer owns the Cannery or the Fish House to my understanding. He only owns Joe's.
  25. Staff drinks? ← Andrew, Andrew, Andrew.......... I work in a hotel........ Staff drinks don't exist anywhere that the Human Resources party poopers/liability experts exist. I haven't had a staff drink since......... 1998. mmmmm.. staff drinks..... Hopefully I will revisit them soon, as I am out on the job hunt. ← I'll trade you my staff drinks for your higher wage and benefits anyday!!! ← Actually, I'm in management, so the higher wage thing is a joke. And for the servers, the higher wage also means the possibility of working breakfast- ugh. That and 8 hour shifts - double ugh. I'm looking forward to the prospect of possibly working in freestanding restaurants again. Restaurants are in the business of being the best restaurant. Hotels are in the business of filling rooms first, so it would be a nice change to get back to the roots. Know anyone that's hiring? LOL.
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