“Can I take your coat?” Why is the restaurant cloakroom extinct?

This used to be an unspecified agreement to support the restaurant business, and in return for your custom, you will eat and drink, perhaps with a smile on your face. During your meal, the restaurant will take care of your coat, umbrella, and any shopping or briefcase.

However, while the first part of the deal continued to exist, the second part was declining. Fewer restaurants have full-time receptionists, let alone full-time cloakroom waiters. The pressure on the “backstage” space is also increasing, because restaurants appeared in smaller units in shops, warehouses and even coal silos in the past. More and more restaurants adopt more casual dining styles, no matter how big the final bill is. More and more customers are asked to hang up their coats and even put them on the backs of chairs.

This transformation is led by numbers. In terms of space, high-end restaurants used to be 40% behind the house and 60% in front of the house. In the past, there was enough space for decent toilets, staff changing rooms, well-designed kitchens, wine storage rooms, and of course a cloakroom near the reception. However, for several years, this ratio has dropped to 30:70, because in the face of higher rents, restaurant owners try to maximize the number of potential customers at the expense of everything else.

As Danny Meyer’s Special Advisor to USHG Restaurant in New York, Richard Coraine, told me in November, “Our plan for the cloakroom must have changed because of the need to use space over time and the casual crowd needs to wear coats. I also think it may be a matter of time, people don’t want to wait to retrieve their coats and get on the road as soon as possible. I have seen the space used as a “manager’s office” and then used as coats in the colder months. Demand for storage, wine and sales space Make the coat a secondary proposition.”

Rents in New York are very high, and restaurant owners must strike a balance between providing what customers want and affordability. At the very least, they must provide a suitable kitchen and a place to store valuable wine bottles.

The increase in wages also played a role. The cloakroom waiter was busy for 30 minutes at the beginning of the lunch service, a little longer at night, and then hurried at the end. Between the two, they are always under-occupied. In the past, the payment method was salary plus cash tips. These tips were generous in winter, especially during Christmas, but negligible in summer. Cash tips have disappeared in many places, and the need to improve the efficiency of receptionists has become a top priority. Therefore, many newer restaurants do not have dedicated receptionists or welcomers. On the contrary, the job of greeting often falls on the waiter closest to the time.

When I talked to Matt Ashman, director of leisure and restaurants at real estate agency Cushman & Wakefield, he agreed that this trend may continue. “Since the lockdown, restaurant owners have once again focused on property, but have two key priorities. The first is that the space must provide outdoor seating, and the second is that the space must be able to provide takeaway services. I just don’t believe in what any new restaurant offers. The rule of taking care of jackets, bags, and even my Brompton bike is no longer a restaurant owner’s top priority.”

Abandoning the cloakroom may also have legal advantages. According to Marcus Barclay, a partner at CMS law firm, if “the restaurant’s cloakroom accepts something from the customer, then the restaurant takes the initiative to take care of what the customer has entrusted to take care of.” However, if a customer puts a jacket on the table and is stolen, the restaurant does not take any responsibility.

In buildings without cloakrooms or room for waiters, the trend towards more relaxed dining styles seems unstoppable. Therefore, it is best to leave the Burberry raincoat at home and change to the next best jacket.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *