The restaurant that Googles its diners

Thursday, 17 April, 2014

Certain fine dining establishments are taking customer service, and attention to detail, to a new level. Having taken a booking, staff then turn to search engines to see what they can learn about their customers, all in the name of personalising, or enhancing, the dining experience:

If, for example, Roller discovers it’s a couple’s anniversary, he’ll then try to figure out which anniversary. If it’s a birthday, he’ll welcome a guest, as they walk in the door, with a “Happy Birthday.” (Or, if it seems to Roller that a guest prefers to keep a low profile, “I’ll let them introduce themselves to me,” he says.) Even small details are useful: “If I find out a guest is from Montana, and I know we have a server from there, we’ll put them together.” Same goes for guests who own jazz clubs, who can be paired with a sommelier that happens to be into jazz. In other words, before customers even step through the door, the restaurant’s staff has a pretty good idea of the things it can do to specifically blow their minds.

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Dessert, not being served at a fine dining establishment near you

Monday, 24 March, 2014

Have desserts, as served at fine dining establishments, really fallen out of vogue, and off the menu, in recent years? Clearly I eat at restaurants that must be a little more down to earth, as I haven’t noticed an absence of desserts on the menus, but if the trend is yet to percolate itself to my level, maybe this something to be concerned about:

In today’s post-recessionary dining economy, dessert chefs tend to be viewed by your average restaurateur starting out in Cobble Hill (or even the West Village or midtown) as a luxury. More and more of the restaurants I review don’t even employ full-time dessert cooks, which is why their menus are flooded with pre-made pies, cakes, and puddings that can be put together ahead of time and whisked out to diners as quickly as possible. As in the realm of savory cooking, the most interesting, innovative work tends to be done in small out-of-the-way tasting rooms, where set omakase-style menus conclude with one or two meager dessert “tastes” per sitting.

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Double the diametre of your pizza, quadruple the amount of pizza

Thursday, 6 March, 2014

Only an engineer could make a case for ordering a sixteen-inch pizza, rather than one that is eight-inches in diametre… they’re actually four times larger.

One 16-inch pizza has roughly the same area as 1.3 14-inch pizzas or 4 8-inch pizzas. To get the same amount of pizza you get in a 16-inch pizza, you’d have to spend an extra $2.35 on 14-inch pizzas, or an extra $16.41 on 8-inch pizzas. The math of why bigger pizzas are such a good deal is simple: A pizza is a circle, and the area of a circle increases with the square of the radius. So, for example, a 16-inch pizza is actually four times as big as an 8-inch pizza.

Despite this difference in… mass, sixteen-inch pizzas would likely still be consumed in the same amount of time as an eight-inch one. Around here, anyway.

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Milking supermarket myths for all they are worth

Thursday, 6 February, 2014

On the subject of conspiracy theories, I thought it’d be a good idea to lift the lid on how supermarkets actually work… while there’s not really a whole lot of secret handshake stuff here though, one or two myths are nonetheless debunked:

That myth about milk being in the back of the store so you have to walk aisle to get to it? Not quite the real reason: It’s even simpler than tempting you with stuff on the way in, explains Weidauer. “Milk needs to be refrigerated right away; the trucks unload in the back, so the fridges are there so that we can fill the cases as quickly and easily as possible.”

Via Link Banana.

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Just add water, loads of water, and you eventually get an… egg

Wednesday, 5 February, 2014

How much water goes into the making of an hen’s egg, such that you may have consumed for breakfast today? Rather a lot, it seems, especially if you add in every last, collateral and incidental if you like, drop that is required in the egg production process:

That’s right, every single egg requires an average of 53 gallons of water to produce. Chickens require water-intensive grain feed (about two pounds per every pound of chicken protein produced) as well as water for drinking and irrigation.

So if that’s an egg, imagine then the quantities of water needed for larger items.

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The unnatural looking ingredients that make up natural foods

Thursday, 30 January, 2014

After seeing a list of the ingredients, or chemicals, that make up natural foods – in this context – fruits and eggs, you could be forgiven for thinking they’re actually whipped up in a laboratory, rather than originating from plantations or, as is the probably case with many eggs, battery farms.

Via James’ reading list.

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Spices, a feast for both the eyes, and our gustatory perception

Tuesday, 21 January, 2014

I don’t usually post adverts here, but this commercial for Schwartz Flavour Shots, featuring exploding bags of colourful spices, is worth making an exception for.

Via PetaPixel.

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Can you open a tin can without a can-opener? Yes, you can

Wednesday, 15 January, 2014

Apparently demand for canned soup is declining, but you never know when you might need to open a can without a can-opener. The narration may be in Russian, but even if you’re not familiar with the language, the procedure is pretty clear.

File under “you never know when this might be useful to know”.

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The dish of rock stars, hot dogs on the rocks

Wednesday, 11 December, 2013

A dish comprising of frankfurters, mashed potatoes, and baked beans, was once – who knows, maybe still is – fare eaten, and enjoyed, by the Rolling Stones, who referred to the meal as “hot dogs on the rocks”.

Rock ‘n’ roll excessive, or what? Perhaps they washed their hot dogs on the rocks down with lashings of champagne and caviar?

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Will an online taste simulator make food Instagrams… tastier?

Thursday, 5 December, 2013

Food, photo by Alpha

While all those photos of meals that people tend to post to their Instagram pages may be more than annoying, the potential to taste said fare may be of some consolation, something that a taste simulator, being called the Digital Taste Interface, sounds like it can offer.

(Photo by Alpha)

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