You will never own a restaurant and that is probably a good thing. Restaurants are notorious for their high failure rates and demanding hours… that’s bad for your bank account and bad for your Netflix and Chill time. The Upside is having a spot designed to your tastes where you can take your friends, girlfriends and business associates. Drinks are always on the house and your table is literally your table. Everyone stands at attention when you arrive and everyone knows what you mean when you say “I’ll have the usual.”
The good news is you don’t have to own a restaurant to be treated like an owner. Restaurants form a symbiotic relationship with their best customers and that relationship exponentially builds on itself.
Here’s how it works.
Restaurants need to cultivate a reputation for having an interesting atmosphere. High-End restaurants in particular covet well-dressed gentlemen who regularly show up with pretty girls on their arm. Restaurateurs offer comped drinks, off-the-menu options and the best tables available to regulars who fit that profile.
The more you go, the heavier the comps get… the heavier the comps get, the more you want to go… and so on and so forth. Suffice it to say that’s exactly where you want to take someone you are trying to impress. I’m not sure where other guys take their dates but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t include a comped round of drinks while the table is being prepared, ordering directly from the chef or the “try a little of everything” dessert.
I’m sympathetic to the concept of experimentation but showing up every once and a while isn’t going to cut it. If trying a new restaurant every time you go out is more your style, you are never going to achieve VIP status at any of them.