Thursday, October 25, 2012 / 10:12 AM
Ask George: I've had several bad dining experiences lately and they've all occurred on Sunday nights. Coincidence? Larry L, St. Louis
In my opinion, not at all. For as long as I've been around restaurants, Sunday has been the day when seasoned employees want off--this is especially true for the chef/sous-chef but also pertains to front of the house personnel (especially managers and servers) as well. Many of them have worked both Friday and Saturday night, and in this business it's said you've earned your stripes when you can take that next day off.
Furthermore, and for the same reason, staffers who are scheduled that day many times don't want to be there, as they have, let's just say, suffered the ill effects of a restaurant worker's weekend.
So as a rule, and some will take issue with this, this is the day when Murphy's Law often kicks in, the day when something can slip through the cracks, the day when quality and the execution of meals can suffer. (I'm not saying such things should happen, I'm merely saying they do.)
In addition, even if the restaurant is fortunate enough to have purveyors who will deliver product on Saturday, few are as lucky on Sunday, so that's the day when many stock-outs occur, items that cannot be procured by a trip to the local grocery store. Trust me, the "86 board" sees a lot of chalk on Sundays.
So what do you do? Give up, stay home, and make chili that day? The answer is no, but just be aware of what I've dubbed the "Sunday Situation." There are some axioms in this business (like Anthony Bourdain's "don't order fresh fish on Mondays"), and while not true all of the time, they are true some of the time, the result being that dining on Sundays can be more problematic than on other days.
In the next "Ask George," I'll answer the question of what is the best (read: most consistent) night of the week to dine out....and it's not what you think.
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