Gene Tang always knew he wanted to open a restaurant, and his wife, Paula, was along for the ride. The couple own and operate 1515 Restaurant in Denver, a fine-dining establishment that combines molecular gastronomy with classic American and European fare. Here, they tell us how they balance work and family with two daughters, six-day work weeks, and over 40 years of marriage.
Archives for February 2015
Jessica Maher and Todd Duplechan are the husband-and-wife team behind Lenoir restaurant in Austin and the Metier Cook’s Supply shop next door. After working in kitchens in New York City, the couple moved to Austin determined to start a restaurant of their own. They succeeded — just around the same time Jessica gave birth to their first son. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we talked to Jessica all about their journey from cooks to restaurateurs, and from singles to married parents of two. Read on for her story.
New York City’s Marea is the perfect restaurant for a Valentine’s Day dinner: beautiful atmosphere, white tablecloths, elegant seafood, and a sophisticated clientele. It’s no surprise guests flock there for the special-occasion dinner.
Special occasions pave the way for special requests, and Managing Director Rocky Cirino has seen it all: balloons tied to chairs, over-the-top flower bouquets too big for the table, horse-drawn carriages holding up traffic out front, a foodie magician and, on one Valentine’s Day, an unannounced violinist. “We let the guy run around the room a little bit,” he remembers. “It was a little bit funny, and a little annoying.”
Since Rocky is all too aware of public opinion around the holiday, his staff does everything they can to make it a great one. “It is well understood from both sides that Valentine’s Day is, similar to New Year’s Eve, a gouging day,” he says. “Anything restaurants can do to lessen the perception for guests that they’re being gouged is important.”
Valentine’s Day is lucrative for restaurants, but you never want people to walk away feeling slighted or disappointed. Here are his five Dos and Don’ts that can make Valentine’s Day a win for restaurants and guests.
Every week we’re rounding up some of our favorite articles with trends and tidbits from the world of restaurants. Tell us: what made your reading list this week?
10 Things We Learned About Food Critics from City of Gold — First We Feast
Report: Restaurant Industry Sees Strong Start to 2015 — Nation’s Restaurant News
How Team USA Won Silver at the Bocuse d’Or — Food & Wine
9 Other Restaurants That Will Probably IPO Really Soon — The Infatuation
Special Report: Haute Cuisine in Paris — Paris By Mouth
A/B Testing for Restaurants — Medium
OpenTable reviews are treasure troves of feedback, both positive and negative. Reviewers often pour their feelings into thoughtful 2,000-word responses, covering every aspect of the dining experience — and as a result, they become an important source of insight for our guests and restaurants alike.
Our data science team digs even deeper. They “mine” reviews, singling out a single theme and looking for the words most often associated with each one. Then they create word clouds that show an at-a-glance view of what reviewers are saying overall, aggregating content from individual reviews to show how important each word is in relation to the topic at hand. (For more information on how these topics are learned from free text reviews, see this article on our tech blog.)
Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular dining days of the year and the subject of countless OpenTable reviews. Data Scientist Sudeep Das mined OpenTable reviews to find out what makes an experience worthy of a 1-star or 5-star ranking — read on, and learn how to delight diners this Valentine’s Day.