When you walk into a nice restaurant, it often appears to be a well-oiled machine, with servers, runners, and bussers gliding seamlessly from table to table, to the kitchen, and to the bar, working with clockwork precision to make sure every diner is happy. But servers and other staff aren’t robots, and there are a few things that you probably don’t know about what goes on behind the scenes at even the best restaurants.
It can sometimes be easy to forget that, above all, a restaurant is first and foremost a business. The owners may be in the business of making you full and happy, but their primary goal is to make money. And with profit margins so slim in the restaurant industry these days, more and more restaurants are resorting to cutting some corners and using psychological tactics to save a few bucks, and to make you spend more than planned.
Whether it’s a Michelin-starred phenom or a corner diner, when it gets down to it, most restaurants operate in surprisingly similar ways. Sure, we’re not expecting a $125 tasting menu restaurant to make consistent use of a microwave, and some restaurants take great pains to make sure that the menus and ketchup bottles are spotless, but every restaurant has some secrets they wish you rather didn’t know.