Restaurants have been around in one form or another since the earliest ancient civilizations. At first buying prepared food from a vendor was a necessity for travelers going through long stretches of uninhabited countryside on their way to the nearest village or city. People would stop at roadside inns for a meal, eating whatever was served, at a common table with other travelers. The modern day restaurant as we know it today- a place where you sit at a table, order from a menu, eat with silverware, and pay a check at the end of your meal- goes back to the 18Th Century with the French Revolution. Through the 19th Century dining out was transformed to an art as more and more upper class Europeans and Americans began traveling abroad. Soon famous restaurants were on par with historical sites on many travel itineraries. During the 20th Century restaurants underwent another transformation, taking a cue from the auto industry, preparing cheap food assembly line style for quick, inexpensive service. By the 21st Century, with the rise of the obesity epidemic in the United States, there has come a backlash against fast food and other dining chains, as many chefs and patrons seek a return to local foods, fueling the rise of the farm-to-table movement. Read the History of Restaurants Part One and Part Two.
Understand the Language of Restaurants
If you have ever worked in a restaurant, you know that there are certain phrases and terms you only hear in the kitchen or on the floor. For example, In the Weeds does not reference being lost in a swamp, but rather being really busy in the kitchen. A deuce refers to two people at a table, not a playing card. There are many different phrases used solely in the restaurant industry. If you are new to the business, check all the restaurant terms listed in the Glossary.
Review 10 Things to Know about Restaurant Management Running a restaurant takes a balance of skills, including organization, communication and delegation. A successful restaurant manager knows the customer is always right (even when they are wrong), that advertising is an absolute necessity for most restaurants and the cash flow and inventory should always be closely monitored. Read more about Restaurant Management.
A restaurant kitchen is not a place to bring bad cooking habits, such as thawing chicken on the counter or using the same cutting board for lettuce and raw beef. It only takes one case of food poisoning to ruin restaurants reputation and if bad enough, close it permanently. Therefore, it's vital that your restaurant staff be knowledgeable about kitchen safety procedures and understands how to follow them. There are many established systems in place that can help you keep your restaurant kitchen safe for both staff and customers. Read more about Restaurant Food Safety.
Participate in Restaurant Week or Other Promotions
Throughout the US, cities and states host annual "Restaurant Week" promotion in which local restaurants are invited to participate. The first Restaurant Week was thought up by Tim Zagat, the founder of Zagat Survey which covers restaurant guides in cities all over the world. The general concept of restaurant week is that local restaurants partner with local tourist organizations or chambers of commerce to promote a week of lunch and dinner specials. Other partners may include local businesses, banks and food vendors. Restaurant Week has grown tremendously over the years, attracting more and more businesses. Along with Restaurant Week, there are many other promotions that restaurants can use during the rest of the year. Read on for more about restaurant specials and promotions.