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BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

I'm sorry, everyone.

Question about the industry:

I've always heard that breakfast is the most profitable shift for any restaurant since the ingredients, prep time and turnaround are so cheap, low and fast. It makes sense to some degree but I've always wondered how true that is. When I worked as a busboy at Denny's, all the servers wanted morning shift since that's where they made the most money even though the checks were low so I guess it was just volume?

And also then again it was Denny's and that's a place people would usually choose breakfast over dinner. Or any other meal really. I can still see though how the markup on breakfast food would be insanely high when I think about and realize how cheap I can cook a Grand Slam for.

TIA

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droll
Jan 9, 2020


Italian pasta joints charging $18 for a plate with some dry chicken breast in a heavy cream sauce seem like they'd make bank too

Naelyan
Jul 21, 2007
Far from perfect, but better than you...

Fun Shoe

BiggerBoat posted:

Question about the industry:

I've always heard that breakfast is the most profitable shift for any restaurant since the ingredients, prep time and turnaround are so cheap, low and fast. It makes sense to some degree but I've always wondered how true that is. When I worked as a busboy at Denny's, all the servers wanted morning shift since that's where they made the most money even though the checks were low so I guess it was just volume?

And also then again it was Denny's and that's a place people would usually choose breakfast over dinner. Or any other meal really. I can still see though how the markup on breakfast food would be insanely high when I think about and realize how cheap I can cook a Grand Slam for.

TIA

The most profitable shift is whichever one you can sell the most alcohol in. So for a place like a Denny's, sure, breakfast is probably great. An upscale pub that does breakfast is only doing it to use up old product, and they're hoping to break even on it - their most profitable time is going to be from about 7pm-close, due entirely to alcohol sales.

Thumposaurus
Jul 24, 2007



Brunch was always insanely busy at places I worked at that did brunch.
It's a double whammy of cheap ingredients marked up and cheap champagne and vodka getting used in mimosas and bloody marys.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


I dunno who's been doing the marquee sign advertising specials at our sister store next door, but they've been giving me a sensible chuckle

It currently reads: I HAD A JOKE ABOUT SALADS, BUT I TOSSED IT

Given that last week's was TRY OUR SMOKED WANGS, I'm 100% sure they know the alternate meaning for tossing salad, and I love it.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


To add to breakfast profitability chat: my place does primarily breakfast, and no alcohol sales. We're not buying pricey proteins; things like bacon and sausage and country ham --- pork, in short --- are way cheaper than beef or fish. (We do sell catfish biscuits, but that's cheap swai from Vietnam, not, like, salmon or swordfish or the like.)

And I'd guess FOH makes out well because of the table turnover. People are coming in solo or pairs, just grabbing a bite before work, so even before COVID made us 90% curbside/takeout/delivery, you didn't have 6 people hogging a table for an hour+ like you might for dinner. More turnover = more tips.

Completely talking out my rear end here, I don't know poo poo about this, but that's my 2 cent opinion.

Skwirl
May 13, 2007

The 'blood babe with the silicone chest, 200-dollar haircut, and a closet full of the latest fashions.




BiggerBoat posted:

Question about the industry:

I've always heard that breakfast is the most profitable shift for any restaurant since the ingredients, prep time and turnaround are so cheap, low and fast. It makes sense to some degree but I've always wondered how true that is. When I worked as a busboy at Denny's, all the servers wanted morning shift since that's where they made the most money even though the checks were low so I guess it was just volume?

And also then again it was Denny's and that's a place people would usually choose breakfast over dinner. Or any other meal really. I can still see though how the markup on breakfast food would be insanely high when I think about and realize how cheap I can cook a Grand Slam for.

TIA

Working at a diner that was better than Denny's but still not great, Sunday brunch was the highest volume, so probably best sales for the restaurant, but all the customers were loving low tipping assholes so it ended up being like 3 times the work and less pay than a random tuesday dinner as a waiter. Lunch shifts were the best because it was decent volume, customers were trying to get in and out and out quickly but it was a beak from whatever job they had that they hated so they were mostly kind and grateful.

Seriously, 9 am on a Sunday morning is when all the people who've never eaten in a restaurant before decide to go to a restaurant.

The Maestro
Feb 21, 2006


6-top in 1.5 hours at $22/cover avg = $132 check
Avg 17%tip = $22.50

3 turns of 1-2 people in 1.5 hours at $15/cover breakfast avg = $60
Avg 17% tip = $10.20

Obviously it depends on the restaurant, maybe that avg cover is a bit too high for dinner and a bit low for breakfast, and depending on liquor and dessert, but give me one 6-top for 1.5 hrs over 3 turns any day. And 3 turns in 90 mins is generous. Especially if your support staff isnít on top of it. If youíre an order taker, you want the turn. If youíre a salesperson, you want the time.

Skwirl
May 13, 2007

The 'blood babe with the silicone chest, 200-dollar haircut, and a closet full of the latest fashions.




The one nice thing about working Sunday Brunch is we had a hostess, 3 bussers and 2 food runners, during slower hours the servers would often have to do those jobs too. I never understood co-workers who complained about having to tip out the support staff, they loving earned every penny.

FFT
Dec 28, 2005

Keyboard Cowboy



BiggerBoat posted:

Question about the industry:

I've always heard that breakfast is the most profitable shift for any restaurant
Profitable for the restaurant and therefore the restaurant owners, perhaps. That's the distinction that probably needs to be made here.

Eggs, potatoes, bacon, easy to fancy up, relatively cheap to buy in bulk compared to the more diverse ingredients involved in lunch/dinner service. Kitchen staff usually makes the same hourly regardless of what time of day they're working.

infiniteguest
May 14, 2009

oh god oh god

BiggerBoat posted:

Question about the industry:

I've always heard that breakfast is the most profitable shift for any restaurant since the ingredients, prep time and turnaround are so cheap, low and fast. It makes sense to some degree but I've always wondered how true that is.

It's not really true but there are true elements to it.

Breakfast service (of which there are many varieties and food cultures to breakfast) does, from a very American and Eurocentric perspective, tend to be low cost and also low labor to execute. The issue is that breakfast doesn't have a high perception of value and as you indicated the check average doesn't tend to be very high. This also really cuts down to some nuts and bolts of business design in restaurants where you have scalable cost of goods sold such as labor and product vs. fixed costs like rent, insurance, utilities, etc. You also have fixed elements of revenue generation such as the hours in which you are able to operate and how much space you have for guests. A $10 egg scramble that costs $1 to produce and one untrained cook to execute at speed could be profitable at volume but each item sold is still, even at a 90% bottom line conversion ratio generating 9 dollars. A 55 dollar t-bone sold at a 45% food cost is still generating 30.25 in base revenue and, in theory, will also attract a higher table spend on wine, cocktails, and appetizers or whatever it is your restaurant is selling. Also menu items designed for higher volume tend to be also designed with a higher risk of product loss or waste.

Diners and diner-like franchise establishments probably do better sales figures in breakfast because breakfast in our own cultural perception better aligns with the overall cheap/fast breakfast mechanic of a diner model whereas most people do not go to Denny's and buy the NY strip or think of it as a place to go for a special occasion.

The most profitable service I usually see is dinner, and in particular selling private events.

nudejedi
Mar 5, 2002

Shanghai Tippytap

Brunch is the devil, and I'm here to do the devil's work! Our dining room reopens next month, and with comes weekends spent getting mad at eggs on the weekends! (I just need a set of sunnys-WHY DID THE SIXTH YOLK BREAK IN. A. ROW. )

Stringent
Dec 22, 2004

The internet is the universal sewer.


nudejedi posted:

Brunch is the devil, and I'm here to do the devil's work! Our dining room reopens next month, and with comes weekends spent getting mad at eggs on the weekends! (I just need a set of sunnys-WHY DID THE SIXTH YOLK BREAK IN. A. ROW. )

lol

Joburg
May 19, 2013



Fun Shoe

nudejedi posted:

(I just need a set of sunnys-WHY DID THE SIXTH YOLK BREAK IN. A. ROW. )

Your eggs are probably old. If you can find fresher eggs the yolk will be more resilient.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


Joburg posted:

Your eggs are probably old. If you can find fresher eggs the yolk will be more resilient.

Not arguing with you, friend, but in nudejedi's defense:

As someone who has cracked 2-3 cases of eggs a day [for the laypeople, that's 720 - 1080 eggs] working at a breakfast joint, you're bound to get a hosed-up egg (or three, or a dozen), no matter what the freshness. Bloody, broken, double-yolk --- if tickets are slow it's a fun "hey look at this!" but when you're hauling rear end those eggs suuuck.

edit: also, I been watching Voyager for the first time since a kind goon gave me a Netflix login, so I really dig your av Joburg. Janeway's pretty loving awesome! (I am, of course, in no way biased because we share the same first name, just with a variant spelling.)

JacquelineDempsey fucked around with this message at 21:55 on Mar 12, 2021

Babylon Astronaut
Apr 19, 2012


Cracking eggs on a flat surface, not a table edge or a pan will help too. The point pushes the shell inwards and can pierce the egg.

Disargeria
May 5, 2010



In my brunch experience sometimes the eggs just hate you as much as you hate them and also gently caress brunch.

Brunch has a natural aura of hatred surrounding it brought in by the sheer concentration of the Worst Customers Ever all dining at the same place at the same time.

fizzymercury
Aug 18, 2011


I worked at Waffle House, IHOP, and breakfast and brunch service at a hotel. The eggs were always ridiculously fresh because we went through cases a day at all of them.

After years doing breakfast service the only thing I truly learned is that eggs loving hate you and they like it when you cry. And also don't inhale powdered eggs when you're measuring them out. You'll get eggs in your sinuses and the sneeze an hour later is horrendous. It will change you.

TheParadigm
Dec 10, 2009



nudejedi posted:

Brunch is the devil, and I'm here to do the devil's work! Our dining room reopens next month, and with comes weekends spent getting mad at eggs on the weekends! (I just need a set of sunnys-WHY DID THE SIXTH YOLK BREAK IN. A. ROW. )

One of the absolute funniest pranks I've borne witness to was for a hotel sous chef that always, and I mean ALWAYS pranked people making hard boiled eggs by putting a raw one in the cooling tray. Without fail, you get a broken raw one when peeling.


When he finally took another gig, The shipping/recieving manager got him back real good on his last day.

Imagine, if you will, a breakfast cook getting crushed in the middle of a friday hotel breakfast rush, going to grab the next egg and crack it and nothing comes out. Not broken, not raw, just zilch.

So he grabs the next one, and the next one, and wonders if he found a glitch in the matrix.

You see, the revenge-getting man had waited for the rush and then replaced his ready-go stash of eggs on the line with all hardboiled ones.

Sous was in such a hurry he went through nearly the whole thing before he figured it out.

Grab, crack, wtf, pitch, repeat.

Joburg
May 19, 2013



Fun Shoe

I thankfully havenít worked in the restaurant industry since my teen years, and only FOH then, but I do have a bunch* of chickens so I have seen some crazy eggs. The most amazing was a double yolker that was 110grams. Poor chicken must have hurt after that!

*ok, I have 33 chickens so that qualifies as a lot, not a bunch

angerbeet
Mar 23, 2004


Come into the lob-ratory! The dog lobster laboratory!


We get a lot of "factory second" eggs donated. They're fine, just not the beauties the farmer's market folks will buy. It's been an education in the possible varieties of chicken eggs, I'll tell you. Never knew they could be wrinkly.

nudejedi
Mar 5, 2002

Shanghai Tippytap

TheParadigm posted:

One of the absolute funniest pranks I've borne witness to was for a hotel sous chef that always, and I mean ALWAYS pranked people making hard boiled eggs by putting a raw one in the cooling tray. Without fail, you get a broken raw one when peeling.


When he finally took another gig, The shipping/recieving manager got him back real good on his last day.

Imagine, if you will, a breakfast cook getting crushed in the middle of a friday hotel breakfast rush, going to grab the next egg and crack it and nothing comes out. Not broken, not raw, just zilch.

So he grabs the next one, and the next one, and wonders if he found a glitch in the matrix.

You see, the revenge-getting man had waited for the rush and then replaced his ready-go stash of eggs on the line with all hardboiled ones.

Sous was in such a hurry he went through nearly the whole thing before he figured it out.

Grab, crack, wtf, pitch, repeat.

That is pure, delicious evil and I'm here for it!

Disargeria posted:

In my brunch experience sometimes the eggs just hate you as much as you hate them and also gently caress brunch.

Brunch has a natural aura of hatred surrounding it brought in by the sheer concentration of the Worst Customers Ever all dining at the same place at the same time.

The real all consuming hatred comes from having a Sunday batch (full case of eggs worth of yolks and w/e pounds of clarified butter) of handmade hollandaise break!

JacquelineDempsey posted:

Not arguing with you, friend, but in nudejedi's defense:

As someone who has cracked 2-3 cases of eggs a day [for the laypeople, that's 720 - 1080 eggs] working at a breakfast joint, you're bound to get a hosed-up egg (or three, or a dozen), no matter what the freshness. Bloody, broken, double-yolk --- if tickets are slow it's a fun "hey look at this!" but when you're hauling rear end those eggs suuuck.

Yeah it's the "I don't have time for this right now" that ruins one's zen. I've gone through enough eggs, I start counting hot streaks of lovely ones so I don't actually get upset.

Grandmas Cookies
Mar 6, 2021

by Athanatos


The only Brunches Iíve ever been to were, some high scale Buffet Brunch ( I was invited to, didnít want to go).

Which had an open omelet bar...

That has to be hell on earth for a chef.

PopeCrunch
Feb 13, 2004

internets



fizzymercury posted:

I worked at Waffle House, IHOP, and breakfast and brunch service at a hotel. The eggs were always ridiculously fresh because we went through cases a day at all of them.

After years doing breakfast service the only thing I truly learned is that eggs loving hate you and they like it when you cry. And also don't inhale powdered eggs when you're measuring them out. You'll get eggs in your sinuses and the sneeze an hour later is horrendous. It will change you.

so is it more the smell, the texture, or the volume that haunts you because honestly with the idea of blurting an uncooked booger omelet out of your nose could be any of the three

WITCHCRAFT
Aug 28, 2007

Berries That Burn


TheParadigm posted:

One of the absolute funniest pranks I've borne witness to was for a hotel sous chef that always, and I mean ALWAYS pranked people making hard boiled eggs by putting a raw one in the cooling tray. Without fail, you get a broken raw one when peeling.


When he finally took another gig, The shipping/recieving manager got him back real good on his last day.

Imagine, if you will, a breakfast cook getting crushed in the middle of a friday hotel breakfast rush, going to grab the next egg and crack it and nothing comes out. Not broken, not raw, just zilch.

So he grabs the next one, and the next one, and wonders if he found a glitch in the matrix.

You see, the revenge-getting man had waited for the rush and then replaced his ready-go stash of eggs on the line with all hardboiled ones.

Sous was in such a hurry he went through nearly the whole thing before he figured it out.

Grab, crack, wtf, pitch, repeat.

oh yeah that's the stuff

the kind of thing that is harmless but in the heat of the moment when someone loses concentration they will do a big loud swear and everyone else snickers because they were in on the joke, watching out of the corner of their eyes



edit: I think I posted this a while ago, but my favorite prank was on this line cook that would ask the bar for a 12oz glass bottle of Labatt or whatever cheap beer near the end of shift, to sip while finishing up and cleaning.

Our expo guy would sneak a spear of asparagus into the bottle and everyone would be watching for like 2 minutes until he took a swig and gagged. It never stopped being funny.

WITCHCRAFT fucked around with this message at 06:19 on Mar 13, 2021

Guildenstern Mother
Mar 31, 2010

Why walk when you can ride?

The chefs got me once with an insanely hot pepper (no idea which one) by telling me it was an uncured peppadew. I was pissed until the end of the night when one of them ordered a round of shots for the crew and the one that the shittiest cruelest dude on the line got was the juice of that same pepper topped off with enough coke to make it look like whiskey. He went a puked out by the dumpster and everyone gave him hell for 6 months because he couldn't handle his shots.

pile of brown
Dec 31, 2004


JacquelineDempsey posted:




*I always change names, of course, but I kept his because I swear every restaurant I've worked at has a Mark. I have to give them prefixes to tell anecdotes to my husband, eg.: "That reminds of when Mark --- Big Mark --- [anecdote]". I'm up to Big Mark, Little Mark, Sports Mark, Downtown Mark, and now New Mark.

I started working at a place with 5 Brians: Chef Brian, Big Brian, banquet Brian, Brian George and Brian Ripple.

Where's Brian? was always a fun game.

pile of brown fucked around with this message at 10:07 on Mar 13, 2021

fizzymercury
Aug 18, 2011


PopeCrunch posted:

so is it more the smell, the texture, or the volume that haunts you because honestly with the idea of blurting an uncooked booger omelet out of your nose could be any of the three

It was all of that plus startlingly painful. The guy who witnessed it actually vomited. I just cried a lot and worried I was going to die of a turbo sinus infection.

FFT
Dec 28, 2005

Keyboard Cowboy



Grandmas Cookies posted:

The only Brunches Iíve ever been to were, some high scale Buffet Brunch ( I was invited to, didnít want to go).

Which had an open omelet bar...

That has to be hell on earth for a chef.
Simultaneously being the one taking the orders and making the orders while the rest of the line gawks at your prep probably sucks, but I've never seen an omelet bar where more than two omelets were cooking at a time.

Disargeria
May 5, 2010



Working customer facing stations is just so completely different from anything else. The guests have visual feedback as to where you are with their order, so there's a level of understanding that isn't provided by having the servers lie their asses off to protect their tips.

You also don't get hit with things like 8 custom omelettes that all need to go out at the exact same time because there's an implicit understanding that you're doing FCFS to the people that are there.

The type of person to visit an omelette bar is also somehow completely different than the normal brunch customer, so many of them seem cheerful and not filled with spite.

Carving and pasta stations are even easier.

Naelyan
Jul 21, 2007
Far from perfect, but better than you...

Fun Shoe

Guildenstern Mother posted:

The chefs got me once with an insanely hot pepper (no idea which one) by telling me it was an uncured peppadew. I was pissed until the end of the night when one of them ordered a round of shots for the crew and the one that the shittiest cruelest dude on the line got was the juice of that same pepper topped off with enough coke to make it look like whiskey. He went a puked out by the dumpster and everyone gave him hell for 6 months because he couldn't handle his shots.

Yeah this is the kind of poo poo that needs to stop being normalized. This is extremely hosed up and potentially extremely harmful, to the point of being debilitating for days if a person is intolerant or allergic to capsaicin. Stop loving with people's food. It's not a joke, it's not a prank, it can be a serious loving thing and people, especially those in management, should know better by now.

Thumposaurus
Jul 24, 2007



TheParadigm posted:

One of the absolute funniest pranks I've borne witness to was for a hotel sous chef that always, and I mean ALWAYS pranked people making hard boiled eggs by putting a raw one in the cooling tray. Without fail, you get a broken raw one when peeling.


When he finally took another gig, The shipping/recieving manager got him back real good on his last day.

Imagine, if you will, a breakfast cook getting crushed in the middle of a friday hotel breakfast rush, going to grab the next egg and crack it and nothing comes out. Not broken, not raw, just zilch.

So he grabs the next one, and the next one, and wonders if he found a glitch in the matrix.

You see, the revenge-getting man had waited for the rush and then replaced his ready-go stash of eggs on the line with all hardboiled ones.

Sous was in such a hurry he went through nearly the whole thing before he figured it out.

Grab, crack, wtf, pitch, repeat.
Love to contaminate my prep with salmonella.

Pranks and poo poo is dumb and anywhere I've worked that poo poo would get you written up and/or fired.

ughhhh
Oct 17, 2012



TheParadigm posted:

One of the absolute funniest pranks I've borne witness to was for a hotel sous chef that always, and I mean ALWAYS pranked people making hard boiled eggs by putting a raw one in the cooling tray. Without fail, you get a broken raw one when peeling.


This is literally a firing offence and once fired a cook on my line for doing that. Later the owner asked why I fired them for a harmless prank, and had to explain to them what salmonella was and how eggs come out of chickens butthole/multipurpose hole.

Skwirl
May 13, 2007

The 'blood babe with the silicone chest, 200-dollar haircut, and a closet full of the latest fashions.




pile of brown posted:

I started working at a place with 5 Brians: Chef Brian, Big Brian, banquet Brian, Brian George and Brian Ripple.

Where's Brian? was always a fun game.

While completely unfair, there's a certain point i would just start trashing any resume with the name Brian on it. Being named Brian isn't considered a protected class so it's a perfectly legal form of prejudice.

Grandmas Cookies
Mar 6, 2021

by Athanatos


Iím sure this has been posted before but: Do yíall ever have kitchen / chef / wait staff:

Nightmares???

I get them all the time... For me itís some continuous loop of me not being able to help all the customers, chef screaming at me, messing up orders, etc etc.

Until, I wake up sweating and being like what the gently caress...

Skwirl
May 13, 2007

The 'blood babe with the silicone chest, 200-dollar haircut, and a closet full of the latest fashions.




Grandmas Cookies posted:

Iím sure this has been posted before but: Do yíall ever have kitchen / chef / wait staff:

Nightmares???

I get them all the time... For me itís some continuous loop of me not being able to help all the customers, chef screaming at me, messing up orders, etc etc.

Until, I wake up sweating and being like what the gently caress...

I would get them almost every night when I worked nights, if there's not at least 5 or 6 hours between getting off work and going to bed I'd almost always have a dream where I was waiting tables.

FFT
Dec 28, 2005

Keyboard Cowboy



Less often now, but yeah I've definitely woken up from ticket printer nightmares.

Sometimes, though, I get to relive the night it was just me and a newbie behind the bar with no backup for a couple of hours while the rest of the staff were working at or supporting other places on the property

In our building the AC failed, the music stopped playing, and hundreds of people got their drinks in a timely manner because we loving rocked it.

Once I realized the poo poo we were in I did take him in the back for a half-minute pep talk that was as much for me as it was for him. "We've got this. You start from the left, I'll start from the right. After we meet in the middle, we'll do it again. If you need to take a breath, take a breath. You good? Let's do this."

My recommendations got that guy hired at two other bars since then, dude's a legend.

whos that broooown
Dec 10, 2009


The owner of our restaurant thought putting plastic wrap on a can of coconut milk would cause botulism

FFT
Dec 28, 2005

Keyboard Cowboy



like, immediately?

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Thumposaurus
Jul 24, 2007



Maybe it was just a way to get people to put things in containers instead of leaving stuff in cans.
The health dept here will give you a violation for storing stuff in open cans.
If you open something and don't use it all put it in a cambro or delitainer.

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