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Re: Is Business Drying Up in Downtown C'Sted?

DixieChick
March 23, 2010 09:33AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 1,495

ok if anyone on here works or has anything to do with a restaurant please pass on our suggestions to make smaller/cheaper selection on the menus.

I think years ago (not that long) the Galleon use to have on menu; appetizer size and regular size. the smaller portion was half the price of the regular size. and it was enough for most people. we use to go there because of that option.

and also the clothing stores.......if they want our business (we are the ones who support them) then quite charging double for items. i know they have over heard but when ordering items for the season.....take prices into consideration.

thank god for the internet.

Re: Is Business Drying Up in Downtown C'Sted?

chockman
March 23, 2010 10:17AM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 512

I like all the ideas I am seeing here on this thread,plus I have a few others in mind. If these menu's were created as you suggest,would you come out more often ? A place staying in Business will either be expensive or sell a high volume. It really does not matter how you slice it,the restaurant does have fixed operating cost.

Re: Is Business Drying Up in Downtown C'Sted?

Linda J
March 23, 2010 10:41AM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 3,903

Smaller portions would be nice but I don't think they would influence where we eat. We have favorites for various types of dining and we stick pretty much to them. I think it also depends on where you live and work. I know there are restaurants that I like but don't frequent because they are outside my typical travel pattern.

Re: Is Business Drying Up in Downtown C'Sted?

chockman
March 23, 2010 11:03AM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 512

Linda I agree completely. Most folks just don't travel all the time to their favorite spots. We still have an Out Back gift certificate from Christmas. It is really not that far from us but it is a little out of our normal operating areas. Ideas ? I have a few of my own to bring to the island but I would love local input on the subject of food and beverage. Even though I may have steeped on a couple of toes here in the last couple of days,I realize that I will be nothing without local support.

Tell me what you want and I'll see if I can make it happen here on my end ? Thank you.


Chris Hockman

Re: Is Business Drying Up in Downtown C'Sted?

roadrunner
March 23, 2010 12:08PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 593

I agree that restaurant portions are, for the most part, way too big, and it would be nice to have smaller options, particularly at the very expensive restaurants.

On the other hand, sometimes it's nice to know that you'll be able to eat the leftovers the next day, cutting that $49 per meal in half (and saving time in the kitchen at home!). Of course, that only works for things that keep well and reheat well. And half of $49 is still significantly more than $7, but it makes it a little easier to swallow. (STXBob, I do the same thing... every penny that enters or leaves my bank account gets written down, entered in a spreadsheet, and totaled at the end of the month. And it does help a lot.)

I've been thinking of making a list of what items to buy where on STX, based on price, quality, etc. But I bet some of you savvy people have already done that! I suppose it's something that has to be personalized, but maybe we could throw our tips and ideas on here and come up with a master list.

Re: Is Business Drying Up in Downtown C'Sted?

chefnoah
March 23, 2010 12:44PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 531

I talk to restaurant owners and chefs every day at work and I always encourage them to visit this website. It's such a valuable source of honest info. Some do, most don't.

I think the best indication that portion sizes are out of control is when plates start getting split. When locals find out that a salad is MASSIVE and can easily split it between two, they will exploit it. At that point, the chef, the servers, and maybe even the owner will see that the portion is too big. Then, it's something to think about with the next menu. Speaking of..

Menu planning should be a big deal. It takes a lot of thought, number crunching, and double checking on product availability before you even think about the final draft. Then, all the planning in the world doesn't matter if the kitchen is inconsistent. If they use 10 ounces of fettucini compared to the 8 ounces as planned, that's a 25% loss to the owner and a massive portion served to the diner. The variables are endless and careless cooks can really goof things up.
It's concerns me when I see menus that are frayed around the edges and prices are changed with a Sharpie. Discontinued menu items?Crossed out! Menus should be updated frequently, not around census time.

Great restaurants have recipe books that are adhered to, everything is portioned ahead of time, and everything is cooked the same every time. I worked at a place where a ruler was a part of your uniform to ensure consistent size of cut items (tomatoes, croutons, olives, cucumbers etc). When I created a recipe book for Salud, everyone thought I was strange.

There are a few restaurants embracing the "tapas" craze that has swept the nation in recent years. Small plates, a few bites, a few bucks. It's good for sharing with friends and fun to experiment with several different plates.

My suggestion is go out there and split your favorite dish. They might charge you a dollar, but you'll still get a decent portion and it might jar their brain a bit with portion sizes. The only thing we DON'T want is smaller portions, same prices.

Re: Is Business Drying Up in Downtown C'Sted?

chockman
March 23, 2010 12:51PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 512

Noah,we think a lot alike. This is great input from the forum. Thank you all very much.

Re: Is Business Drying Up in Downtown C'Sted?
avatar

bathiel
March 23, 2010 12:52PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 518

Chef Noah--thanks for the inside insights. Very interesting. My wife and I definitely split entree dishes when we aren't buying appies only. However, the big problem we have with this--and this is a different spin--is that we don't eat starches, and most entree dishes are so loaded up with starches (presumably because they're much cheaper than the proteins) we still end up throwing away half the dish.

Bernie

Re: Is Business Drying Up in Downtown C'Sted?

chefnoah
March 23, 2010 01:04PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 531

Most places would substitute for you. I always use to accommodate requests for double veg, no starch. It never hurts to ask! A good restaurant thinks "guest first" and should be catering to your needs!

Bernie, you're right about the starches being cheaper. The protein is the center of the plate and everything should compliment it.

Re: Is Business Drying Up in Downtown C'Sted?

STXBob
March 23, 2010 01:22PM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 2,131

I have not found portion sizes to be too big. That's because I usually skip the appy, the dessert, and the coffee. I get sick if I overeat, and then my money is truly wasted.

Re: Is Business Drying Up in Downtown C'Sted?
avatar

bathiel
March 23, 2010 02:07PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 518

Quote
chefnoah
Most places would substitute for you. I always use to accommodate requests for double veg, no starch. It never hurts to ask! A good restaurant thinks "guest first" and should be catering to your needs!

I do typically ask, but I usually get the "Sure we can, but that will be an extra $X" response.

By the way, I've found Rowdy Joe's and Eat to be champs at accommodating special requests.

Bernie

Re: Is Business Drying Up in Downtown C'Sted?

Irijah
March 23, 2010 03:02PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 171

greetings
when i lived on the island (mid 70's early 80's) there were rarely empty buildings downtown (except for the ones that have always been empty)...business was booming.
i think if st. croix were more economically affordable overall, more people would travel and there would be a semblance of growth in the tourist area.
if corporations such as hess "in its days of glory" would come back other issues of economy would be helped as well...as hess and martin marietta hired local for the most part...that helped local economy and there was way less crime because people had jobs that sustained said people and their families....and young people knew they could get a job after graduation...other businesses were helped by the money generated by hess, etc employees as well, so everything thrived...i once had three jobs at one time.
but of course shipping jobs overseas for years is what ultimately has landed the US in the economic shithole it is in now.
and because of the economic shithole we find ourselves in, the backlash is being seen in a myriad of situations now...(less vacationing and so)
an example from a personal point of view is that for years i saved money to take a vacation my senior year in college.
when time to take the vacation, st. croix was my desired port of call so to speak.
the air fare was OUT THE WAZZZZZOOOOO and it is very expensive to stay at a hotel and food, as a norm, is also high.
it broke my heart, but we opted for jamaica since it was within our budget to go there.
and i did not really like it too much...would have rather come to st. croix.
just another perspective.

Re: Is Business Drying Up in Downtown C'Sted?

stcmike
March 26, 2010 08:00PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 240

My mainland friends all go to Dominican Republic, they have no interest in coming to the VI. The airline charge an outrageous amount of money to come here and the hotels are overpriced

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