October 1, 2012
"You lose money every month, eventually there’s no restaurant, right?… It is so important that we, as chefs, understand how to manage in a way that we are not losing money. Because otherwise there is no point."

In Check, Please, John Colapinto peeks into the kitchen of Eleven Madison Park, the upscale NYC restaurant that charges $195 for its tasting menu. The co-owners, Will Guidara and chef Daniel Humm, are striking in their practical approach to running their business, while the piece is full of fascinating insights into the management of food. Some of the other tidbits that stood out:

Grant Achatz of Alinea got rid of tablecloths from his Chicago restaurant, saving himself $42,000 a year.

Staff at the restaurant Daniel monitor diners via cameras to ensure that service is as fast as humanly possible. Not for the benefit of said diners, it should be added, but so that the restaurant can maximize the number of people who eat there each night.

Says Guidara: “If you ever make a decision first and foremost to make money, it will end as well… Every decision needs to start with it making you better. And then you have to ask yourself, ‘Is this also a good financial decision?’ “

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