Monday, February 28, 2011

Lazy Restaurants

Editorial comments. The places in Diners, Drive-ins and Dives are the best joints around, and many of them are mediocre in my experience. What of the others, those places that don't get the notoriety? There are a few reasons.  Like baseball, the expansion has diluted talent.

  1. The need for talent in the kitchen is greater than the number of qualified, committed people.
  2. The restaurant business presents low barrier to entry- anyone can play
  3. Related to point 2, the public has low expectations fueled by fast food and fooled by heavy spice use.  As I was once told "No one ever went broke underestimating the American public.
  4. People are lazy.  Shortcuts and convenience trump passion and high standards.
  5. The halo effect.  Put out a good item or two to build a reputation, and you can surround them with mediocrity that goes unnoticed.
  6. Most restaurants are started as a business, not a passion.  
  7. Once established, the creator of good restaurants feel compelled to move on, and leave a wake of disappointment behind.  
Good restaurants are run by people who are perfectionists, demanding, and fanatic.  The rest are run by anyone with a business license.  

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