^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
4

Restaurants Ask Diners to Buy Beer for the Kitchen

Enterprising restaurants have found a new, cost-effective way of acknowledging their line cooks' contributions, according to an item posted this week on Inc. Magazine's blog.

At restaurants from Los Angeles to Cambridge, Massachusetts, customers are given the option of buying the kitchen a round of beers. The shift beer six-pack, usually listed on the dessert menu, is priced from $7-$12. Inc. reports The Publican in Chicago typically sells at least one or two liquid tip packages each night -- a tally boosted by the restaurant's practice of ringing a bell whenever a "Six-pack for the Kitchen" is sold.

The beer tip neatly solves the problem of adequately expressing appreciation for excellent food. While service staffers reap immediate monetary benefits for doing their jobs well, a back-of-the-house worker generally has to make do with an hourly wage and the executive chef's approval. While customers at sushi and oyster bars are accustomed to tip jars, few diners at other types of restaurants seek out ways of rewarding cooks for their talent.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Interestingly, anecdotal evidence suggests open kitchens -- which allow customers to witness the hard work invested in their dishes -- haven't inspired a significant increase in cook tips. At Ristorante Nicola, where the exhibition kitchen is a focal point of the dining room, kitchen staffers haven't gotten in the habit of accepting beer, cash or compliments.

"The staff I talked to at Ristorante Nicola did not have any examples," emailed spokesman Jef Tingley, who agreed to investigate.

At The Publican, where the beer tipping program's formalized, kitchen staffers have collected as many as 42 beers in one night. As the chef there clarifies, the beers are served after work.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.