Expensive Restaurants: Worth the Price? Gourmet Meals in Fine Dining Restaurants Have Value
Quality costs money. Healthy food costs more than highly processed food. Organic vegetables cost more than pesticide-laced products from over worked fields. Grain-fed beef is tastier and healthier than beef fed with by-products and antibiotics.
For restaurants to offer high quality ingredients, owners invest capital in supplies. Made to order restaurants offering fresh and sometimes gourmet foods have higher costs.
Made to Order
Chain restaurants such as Applebee’s and Friendly’s keep a supply of frozen menu items in the kitchen. When ordered, the frozen food is “prepared” sometimes by simply heating in a microwave and adding finishing touches.
In a made to order restaurant, fresh, raw food is cooked and prepared after it has been ordered. Hamburgers to filet mignon can be served rare, and dishes can be prepared with the garlic (for example) because everything was not cooked ahead of time.
Romantic Restaurants and Ambience
Eating out is more than basic sustenance; it is an experience. Men who wish to impress a special woman take her to a fine restaurant, not to McDonald’s.
Successful, fine dining restaurants have thought of everything. One I visited recently even used slate as plates, which made very unique, unusual restaurant plates. They also have guides on their website on what to consider when choosing restaurant dinnerware: slateplate. The comfort of the chairs in the dining room, the quiet level of instrumental music, and the low lights making the candles on each individual table seem that much brighter.
Time, care, and professionalism go into making everything about a good restaurant just right. The experience itself make the higher price tag worthwhile.
Fresh Foods are Healthy Foods
Fresh foods retain more of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that keep eaters healthy. As fruits and vegetables sit in the refrigerator, they slowly lose their food value. A well-run restaurant is challenged to buy just enough food to sell until the next order.
Foods that are overcooked and/or cooked-then-frozen retain less food value than fresh foods. Fresh foods also taste so much better than their processed counterparts.
Hidden Costs of Fresh Foods
Fresh foods cost more money, and fresh foods can spoil. Spoilage is, unfortunately, a hidden cost of running a good restaurant. If an owner purchases 5 pounds of beef but only sells 4 pounds, and throws away 1 pound of beef because everybody ordered chicken that week, the restaurant does have to recoup the cost.
Chefs, Cooks, and Restaurant Staff Need to be Paid
It takes skill, care, and a high level of organization to start with raw ingredients and create a gourmet meal every time. It also takes more time to cook a meal and prepare food well than to defrost frozen appetizers and entrees. Chefs and cooks in good restaurants do this in a high pressure environment with orders coming in much faster than the food can realistically cook. These restaurant kitchen employees must remain calm and as deftly as possible turn out a fresh, made to order meal with perfection every time.
The professional chefs and well-trained cooks in fine dining establishments deserve to be paid for the labor and attention to detail. It is reasonable for their wages and salaries to reflect their knowledge and skill level.
Fine dining and gourmet restaurants train their waitstaff to provide exceptional service to customers. On average (in the 50 states) restaurant servers earn about $3 per hour. They depend upon tips and gratuities to make a living.
Tips are usually calculated as a percentage of the bill. In a good restaurant, the server is giving more of her time and effort to the customers than the server in a greasy spoon or diner is required to do. For fine service in a fine restaurant, it is unthinkable to tip less than 20%. The meal, the experience, and the ambience make the cost of the bill and the tip worth it. Expensive restaurants are definitely worth their price tags.