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  #81  
Old 24.11.2014, 21:15
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

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We've had a restaurant where diners sit in complete darkness and the waiters are blind.

How about a restaurant for the deaf - you have to make your orders in sign language.
I saw this somewhere before on tv. I can't remember exactly where it is, either in the US or Aussie. The restaurant basically employs people with hearing loss. The customers will get a menu that also contains sign language of each of the offered dish. They will then need to use the language when ordering.
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  #82  
Old 24.11.2014, 21:30
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

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No offence (actually, lots of offence), but...

Am I the only one horrified at the idea of eating at this design-by-committee restaurant?

An all-you-can-eat-BBQ-English-Breakfast-Pork-Pie-Buffet, with vegan and gluten-free options, in a child-friendly (read: hordes of children screaming their heads off), seasonal themed setting with a bingo games and theatre comedy for live entertainment.

Bejeebus

It reminds me of the episode in The Simpsons where Homer designs a car to appeal to Everyman.

I know, I know... we're all just having fun listing our favourites and pet peeves. Here's hoping the OP has enough sense to already know the food and crowd they are aiming for.

Personally, I think you could draw a crowd if you banned all children from your restaurant. It would certainly be a niche market.
I think a ban is a bit too extreme! If you would prefer no children (which is fair enough!) you can subtlety discourage them by avoiding things like kids' meals, play areas etc. Keep the theme very adult and parents will prefer to go elsewhere where it is more accommodating.

(or was the ban thing a Simpsons joke?? I don't watch it! )
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  #83  
Old 24.11.2014, 22:18
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

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How about a restaurant for the deaf - you have to make your orders in sign language.
Two beers please!
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  #84  
Old 24.11.2014, 22:23
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

A lot of informative professional advice on this thread! I have no direct experience but my father is in the business - he says it's a merciless, hard, job, full of sacrifices (no weekends, no holidays, relatively low margins even with a very successful business, years of struggling before achieving said success) and yet his eyes still sparkle with pride when he talks about the latest concoction he came up with. It is a passion for sure, not just a job. If you are looking to fill up your time by hanging out at your restaurant, you're doomed to failure sooner or later - but I'm sure you know that.

Anyway...

My two cents (or rappen) as a customer who (1) is into good food (2) can't stand rude/not knowledgeable staff, and (3) will pay good money/will travel distances if it's worth it.

I am with Meloncollie, my favorite places on both sides of the pond feature limited menus (2-3 appetizers, 2-3 mains, 2-3 "signature dishes", 2-3 dessers), varied every few days/weeks, with locally sourced ingredients. Staff is knowledgeable and does not miss a beat with recommendations, chef is friendly and comes out to chat with diners. They make adaptations on demand for allergies, reasonable dislikes, etc. Also, if I have to book a month in advance to get a table, you ain't getting my business*, no matter how tasty your food is (totally personal pet peeve of mine). My favorite place over here also offers an interesting feature: it's open until 2am, but from midnight onwards, they stop the regular menu and offer a funky late-night menu, made of pig's ears, sauteed liver, ostrich eggs, you name it, they got it.

Good luck!

*Made an exception for Jose Andres' Minibar, but that is the equivalent of a multiple (culinary) orgasm and it was a 4 hour dinner affair. Can I say orgasm on a public forum?

Last edited by BokerTov; 24.11.2014 at 23:52. Reason: Added link to yummy-ness.
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  #85  
Old 24.11.2014, 23:02
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I think a ban is a bit too extreme! If you would prefer no children (which is fair enough!) you can subtlety discourage them by avoiding things like kids' meals, play areas etc. Keep the theme very adult and parents will prefer to go elsewhere where it is more accommodating.

(or was the ban thing a Simpsons joke?? I don't watch it! )
I was half joking.

I have a preference for fellow diners that don't piss themselves, shit themselves, vomit on themselves, cry, scream, shout, antagonise their fellow table guests into shouting "stop that right now or you'll be sorry!" every 5 minutes, park their vehicles/beds next to the table or run around the restaurant for fun.

Now, I have seen some adults do some of these things. Everyone has bad days

And I've seen a lot of children do a lot of these things. It's hardly their fault when they're babies. And pretty normal behaviour for anyone under the age of 12.

But being the benevolent egalitarian that I am, I take all hu-mans on a case-by-case basis. I'm not anti-kid. I'm anti-chaos.

So, on any of the occasions where I frequently seek respite from this chaotic world, I would simply favour a restaurant that politely discouraged or even ejected any customer - adult or child - who displayed the behaviour I describe above.

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I think a ban is a bit too extreme! If you would prefer no children (which is fair enough!) you can subtlety discourage them by avoiding things like kids' meals, play areas etc. Keep the theme very adult and parents will prefer to go elsewhere where it is more accommodating.

(or was the ban thing a Simpsons joke?? I don't watch it! )
Oh - The Simpsons thing was an episode about an auto-maker CEO who gets his half-brother (Homer) to design a car that will appeal to the common man. Homer is a common man. He drives a car. He must know what people like, right? But he designs the worst car ever.

Just because people know what they like, doesn't mean they know how to create it.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 25.11.2014 at 01:48. Reason: merging successive posts
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  #86  
Old 24.11.2014, 23:22
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

If you're a restaurant targeting English speakers, do not charge for tap water.

It pisses a lot of English speakers off. It's culturally unacceptable in a lot of places, and illegal in some.

I understand the arguments for doing so, and there can be exceptions (say for an all-you-can-eat deal where you make no money on the food), but as a generally policy you'll lose business from English speakers. I've worked in a couple pubs/restaurants here and have seen customers charged by Swiss staff for a glass of water after having 5 pints at 8 CHF each, then swear not to come back because of it. It's just bad business.

Staff matters. And if you really want to target English speakers, consider some native English speaking staff. Swiss service is usually polite, but can be perceived as unfriendly compared to North American standards at least. Is small talk with a customer intrusive, and a waste of time when the staff should be doing something productive? Or is it friendly, good service and good for business? Depends on the culture and the concept, but if you're targeting English speakers have an idea of what they expect and staff accordingly.

Do control your costs, but treat your staff fairly. Don't 'round down' their hours worked to save yourself money. Have systems in place to minimize waste/theft, but don't assume everyone is out to cheat you. If you do your staff will live down to your expectations.

Good luck!
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  #87  
Old 25.11.2014, 01:21
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

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Groups of people who want to pay individually - this should not be allowed! It will slow down your service staff and increase their stress levels.


But it is the most normal thing in the world. So that everybody pays what he really got. Otherwise, people who order modestly would pay for those ordering expensive stuff and that would not be correct
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  #88  
Old 25.11.2014, 13:52
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

I have a friend who pays with his Visa card and we work out how much we owe him afterwards.
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  #89  
Old 25.11.2014, 14:24
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

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We already have a licence for live music and alcohol sales until 6am!!
btw, if you plan to organize some gigs or even having a house band, you can consider cover-band "circle of time" where I play. PM if interested.

Thanks and good luck!
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  #90  
Old 25.11.2014, 16:16
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

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chef is friendly and comes out to chat with diners.
Never experienced this and I think I've been to quite a few good restaurants so far. Is it frequently done over the pond maybe?
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  #91  
Old 25.11.2014, 16:25
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

Some enlightening reading:

http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2010/0...ct-restaurant/
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  #92  
Old 25.11.2014, 16:29
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

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Never experienced this and I think I've been to quite a few good restaurants so far. Is it frequently done over the pond maybe?

Maybe you've been going to the wrong places.

Happens to me quite a few times in CH. Especially in smaller villages. Quite often he will offer a glass of Schnapps or Grappa while he's at it.
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  #93  
Old 25.11.2014, 16:29
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

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Groups of people who want to pay individually - this should not be allowed! It will slow down your service staff and increase their stress levels.
actually this one of the things I love about being in CH. The fact that you pay for what you consume in your group.
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Old 25.11.2014, 16:35
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

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actually this one of the things I love about being in CH. The fact that you pay for what you consume in your group.
Same in Germany; except the prices are lower
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Old 25.11.2014, 16:56
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

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actually this one of the things I love about being in CH. The fact that you pay for what you consume in your group.
We've done that in the UK too where a couple in the group thought we were splitting the bill and drank themselves stupid on expensive cognac etc on purpose.
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  #96  
Old 25.11.2014, 16:58
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

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we've done that in the uk too where former friends in the group thought we were splitting the bill and drank themselves stupid on expensive cognac etc on purpose.
ftfy

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Old 25.11.2014, 17:39
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

One thing I miss the most in Switzerland are the fast, affordable lunches. I have lunch with colleagues every Wednesday and even though we tried almost all restaurants in Rapperswil, we ended up eating in only one: because it offers an affordable, tasty lunch wich is served in less than 20 minutes (they have only 5 dishes for lunch, 3 of them change every day). The restaurant is rather small but is quite full with office workers because of the fast efficiency. (I'm not talking kebab or hamburgers here...)

I also tend to visit restaurants which offer a menu with clear warnings for allergies (believe it or not, my fight against lactose in the Swiss gastronomy is composed of mostly defeats - so once I find a safe restaurant, it goes on the green light list).

Don't focus on ex-pats. Ex-pats come from all over the world and come and go rather quickly. Even if you open a foreign cuisine speciality restaurant, you want to attract a clientele who can visit again next month.

Can't help you much about the entertainment. I enjoy restaurants with low elevator music and whispering clientele...

Also, you might want to pay attention to the decor once you know who your target group is. It sounds strange, but the interior design can be extremely harmful or helpful to a business. I've been put off by terrible ambient even though the food was good, and I gave a so-la-la restaurant a second chance because the lamps were just freaking awesome. As we say back home, "your eyes also eat"...

Good luck!
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  #98  
Old 25.11.2014, 17:43
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

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Can't help you much about the entertainment. I enjoy restaurants with low elevator music and whispering clientele...
Me too. I've never enjoyed eating with loud "live" entertainment.

I like to enjoy my food and the company I'm with and give both the food and the company the attention they deserve.
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Old 25.11.2014, 17:49
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

for me, I really like a bar or restaurant that takes the music seriously, not just playing the radio, or muzak or some dumbed down 90s House. In fact I actively seek them out. I understand that live music at a restaurant can be annoying but I think live music makes good bars great.
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Old 25.11.2014, 17:59
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Re: We are opening a restaurant in Zurich! Any suggestions on our menu and entertainm

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for me, I really like a bar or restaurant that takes the music seriously, not just playing the radio, or muzak or some dumbed down 90s House. In fact I actively seek them out. I understand that live music at a restaurant can be annoying but I think live music makes good bars great.
It also helps when the waitresses are topless - yep that definitely makes a restaurant better.

But also child friendly, Vegan, serves Kebabs after 11pm, does a classy brunch, which has to be cheap - especially the cocktails.

If the restaurant can't be exactly what every person wants it will fail. Exactly like all the other restaurants have failed.
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