Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The tourist season is over, brace for Christmas

It is that time of the year in which I have entire joints for myself during lunch time.

The seasonal "restaurants" have closed (Blue Fish/Red Fish, and Barb's) and it is clear that restaurateurs are bracing for the low season. We, Victorians, become the main source of customers for many restaurants, particularly around the inner harbour.

It might also be the rain. It tends to affect the mood of people, who are less likely to go out.

It must be hard in some restaurants. I can't imagine a place can stay in business if there is only one person for the entire lunch service. In the case of that restaurant, they were doing prep for the dinner service, so it is not really wasted time--but still.

I think ultimately we, Victorians, benefit from this seasonal imbalance. If tourists were around year long, restaurants could charge more. Their low season depends on us to go to their restaurants, and that means providing food and service of a quality that will attract repeat local business. Those who don't might face extinction.

Business will soon pick up for Christmas. Nov, and Jan. must be the hardest months for restaurants in Victoria.

And while some restaurants are almost empty this time of the year, Christmas is another story. Suddenly people remember they have friends and want to enjoy a meal with them (love at Dec 24 sight). At my favourite joints, Dec. is crowded, and I need to plan to arrive early.

So, brace yourselves for this season variability: enjoy the almost personal service of Nov and Jan, and plan ahead for those crowded restaurants of Dec.


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