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Dress Code--restauranteur's lament


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Dress Code--restauranteur's lament

AC | Oct 19, 2002 10:53 AM

Hello, everybody!
I want to follow up on the rather heated discussion that went on this board a couple of weeks ago. In accordance with board's rule, I am not going to identify the restaurant I own, but rather share "the other side's" perspective.
Someone said in that discussion that "restaurants have a dress code for a reason" and in most cases, it is true. It is certainly true in our case. Trust me, we have a dress code not because we want to be snobbish, and we certainly don't like turning away guests. But try to put yourself in my position. Let's say, we have a party of 50-60 people--a birthday, an anniversary, etc, which we have practically every Saturday. Now, these people are holding a party in my restaurant because they either don't have the space in their home, cannot cook all the food, or just want something better than they can provide on their own -- the ambience, the service. They are paying a considerable sum of money, much more than they would have spent at home, because they want it to be a very special occassion, one that will be photographed, remembered, and talked about. Now, if they invited guests to their home, their guests would not dream coming to a party dressed in torn jeans and dirty t-shirts. But when these people entrust their special event to me, they don't have control over who might be at the restaurant on the same night. They simply rely on me to create the atmosphere of beauty and festivity they expect. And it is my duty to make it happen.
Believe me, I value every guest who comes to my restaurant and want to make everybody happy. But sometimes I am put in a position that it is just not possible. Ambience is part of the enjoyment in a visit to a restaurant, and if a dress code is part of this ambience, please respect it. Someone else said in the discussion (something like this) "I'd rather spend my money on expensive food than expensive suits." Well, I don't think any restaurant would require that you wear Armani. And, honestly, if you are willing to spend a couple of hundred on a dinner, perhaps it is worth it to invest a hundred in a dress shirt and a pair of slacks that would enable you to enjoy that dinner in the places that have that "dreaded" dress code. Some of you guys see it as a matter of principle: "Well, do you want my business or shall I go someplace else?" Yes, I do want your business, so please help me by showing respect for our rules and for other people in my dining room. Don't elevate your blue jeans to the status of a constitutional issue, and we will all live happily ever after.

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