Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Eight is Enough
Want to start your own "Great Escape"? Here's some tips that may help you along the way. #1 - size matters! We think the perfect number to dine out with is 8 (or 4 couples) which allows for a nice mix of conversation, personalities and opinions. #2 - ask for a round table! You want to avoid a long table where the people seated at either end feel like they're in no-mans-land, especially in a noisy crowded restaurant where your voice doesn't carry. #3 - set the date in stone! You want to pick an appointed time so you can mark your calendar and always know this is your Great Escape night. Schedule it monthly or quarterly or whatever suits your busy lives - but once you do make sure you mark your calendar and respect the date. Others are counting on you. #4 - reservations! - At least one week before your outing call for a reservation. This is very important for such a large group. And a little trick I've learned is that you should announce to the restaurant manager that you are a "Dining Group" that meets monthly. I learned this one by accident when after telling a manager that this was our first time at his restaurant and that we dine out monthly as a group...he sent a platter of dessert to our table ON THE HOUSE! Smart marketing on his part - we enjoyed every crumb and left with such good will in our hearts we're sure to go back, and that's what he's counting on. #5 - notify the group - now that you've made your reservation, email your group with a reminder to note the day and time you've reserved...the address and any driving directions available, and whenever possible a link to the restaurant's website or at least a review from a site like www.urbanspoon.com. This will afford the group a chance to look over the menu and take their time planning what they will want to eat. Whether its a dietary or monetary issue, this step will be very appreciated by all. This should be enough to get you started. I'll get a little more detailed in a later post with options and opinions on handling waiters, tips, tabs, and in general the group dynamic. Enjoy!