The Oatmeal is completely done by Matthew Inman. He is quickly becoming one of my heroes. Just like the wise fool in Shakespeare, Matthew imparts truth via comedy. Today’s post should be heeded by all potential restaurateurs. Matthew discusses How to Make A Restaurant Insanely Popular in a Big City. He says things that I know are completely right.
1. Accept only Cash: right on! Hide extra moneys from Uncle Sam. This also gives people that come to your place the feel that you are truly a “mom and pop”, this gives them something to chat about when they tell all their hipster friends about the place…After all, who wants to be shamed by slamming down an AMEX on the table?
2. Ridiculously Small Venue: Nobody wants to go to that huge place that is empty. If it is empty it gives the illusion of either bad food, bad service or just bad vibe. Picking a smaller venue makes the place easier to manage and staff and almost guarantees that you will always be packed. People always want to go where it is harder to get in. We like a challenge…we may even bribe you to get a table and you’ll make a little extra cash on the side.
3. Obnoxious Name: I would not necessarily say “obnoxious” but witty and fun. Spotted Pig, La Esquina, Little Giant…all cute, small and easy to remember.
4. Tiny Menu, No Custom Orders: I have a theory that places with huge menus cannot possibly be good. Sure there are those items that fly out each day, but what about those items that people never order? How fresh can the ingredients for that item be? And how good can the chef (or cooks) in the kitchen make them. Give me a small menu so that I know that when I walk into your place I am getting the items your chef knows how to make best. It also makes my choices easier. As for no custom orders, I am fine with this. If I want it custom, I will make it at home. Ideally your chef should be so good that I will want to see his/her artistry. There is one caveat: allergies. Restaurants should always be willing to make substitutions for allergies.
Kudos to The Oatmeal. Check out the rest of Matthew’s wisdom by clicking on the picture of his post.