A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from one of my regular customers mentioning the “slow bread service.” I explained that we have been serving bread with the food and not instead of appetizers. My intent is to serve excellent food accompanied with a piece of bread. In the current state of the economy, diners’ eating habits have changed noticeably -- no appetizers, triple requests for “more bread” and then most likely no dessert.
A question comes to my mind: what happend to the days when some guests pushed bread away because of their Atkins or South Beach diet with a disgusted expression. Back in the day (during the Bull market) all dishes with some sort of bread/carb incoporated into the recipe were the slow movers. Now in this Bear market nobody seems to have an issue with bread anymore, in fact they demand it the moment they sit down.
Many restaurants like ours still serve bread complimentary - meaning gratis and let me tell you as a chef/owner I can asure you that we do not incoporate the cost of bread into the per item pricing on the menu. On the other hand, if people persist in having bread instead of food you might soon find bread listed under the menu items like anything else.
I wonder if some operators will put a “per cover” charge (a flat sum added onto the bill) as often seen in European establishments during this time of economic carbo-philia. When the economy bounces back and our guests are again carbo-phobic we can always revert to “free bread.”
Egg-in-a-whole salad with yellow garden beans chive blossoms and preserved truffle vinaigrette