The Time of Fancy Restaurants is Over
When you sit down and really think about it, our tolerance of fancy restaurants should have gone the way of the steam engine and the fax machine.
More than 100 years ago, there was a need for fancy dining establishments. Back then, there were steep social classes that felt a paralysing need to eat separately from each other.
The rich wanted to eat somewhere where they weren’t reminded that poor people existed, and fancy restaurants scratched that itch.
Back then, fancy just meant gluttonous. Food for rich people was dripping in butter and lined with fat. It was piles of beef sitting on rows of sausages. Meanwhile, poor people were relegated to street vendors who sold vegetables boiled in water. (It wasn’t until decades later that we discovered that the rich should probably have been eating a vegetable or two themselves from time to time).
Portions were small so that women could fit into their corsets and stay within the publicly accepted ideals of beauty. Alcohol flowed and cigarettes were a-plenty.
So what’s really changed 100 years later?
Well… smokers have to go outside. So that’s new. We’ve also brought the vegetables inside and pushed the meat outside.
So why do these restaurants still exist?
Needless to say, the enormous gap between classes still exists. The gap between the rich and poor is as enormous as it ever was, and grows every day.
The difference is that rich people are far richer than the rich of a century ago, so their need for fancy restaurants disappeared millions of dollars ago.
People will say “fancy restaurants exist for the super rich, so if you don’t like them, you don’t fit into that group”.
You’d be right in saying that I don’t fit into that group, but you’d be wrong in saying that fancy restaurants exist for the super rich.
Fancy, super rich people eat in executive dining rooms you’ve never heard of.
There are two kinds of super rich
The super rich people that eat in secret parlours and swanky underground dining rooms are a dying breed. Today’s billionaire is an entirely different kind of rich person.
Today’s super rich are wealthy because of their intelligence and a great idea, they’re not aristocratically rich like the wealthy of yore.
Because of that, these super rich people would much rather eat at a regular cafe. They’re far too busy running a tech giant, they don’t have time for fancy nonsense. They’d much rather be served fast than fancy.
They wear regular clothes and drive a normal car. You may have even waited in line for your coffee behind a billionaire this morning and never even known.
Chances are that if the restaurant will seat you and I, the super rich have no interest in eating there, and that’s because of the needs of the two remaining types of super rich people.
The fancy ones eat in places we’ll never know exist. The majority eat somewhere quick and easy, just like normal busy people.
So Why Go?
Fancy restaurants don’t make their living off the super rich anymore, they make their living by overcharging the average person.
They still serve tiny portions (I’m here because I’m hungry, not a supermodel).
They also tend to take far longer in getting your food to you, and charge through the roof.
Do we go because the food they’re making is beyond what I could have made?
Hell no. We’re living in an age where kitchen utensils and devices are more efficient, easier to use and produce better results than ever. They’ve also never been so reasonably priced.
Do we go for the convenience?
Also no. Did you ever notice that you never have to walk more than a block from a fancy restaurant before you come across either a McDonalds or one of it’s competitors?
It’s because they know that when you leave the restaurant broke and not even close to feeling full, they’ll be there for you. They’ll pick up the pieces of your psyche.
God dammit, why do we go then?
We go for the same reason we do almost everything.
Why do I have a job? Why do I cut my hair?
Because of sex.
Fancy restaurants have a perceived value that isn’t real and can’t be quantified. The food isn’t much better, the service is rubbish, it’s hard to get in, and it costs the moon.
But because of its perceived value, we’re going to love the person sitting across from us on that fancy chair and reaching for the cheque.
Even though the super rich wouldn’t dream of stepping inside, we feel that we’re one of them. We’re achieving something in our mind, and we’re willing to pay for it.
We should really stop doing it
Fancy restaurants are going to keep existing while we keep trying to impress our dates the easy way.
Let’s start impressing them the harder way, which is to cook for them.
Today’s amazing cooking devices (such as the Instant Pot) are able to make far better food than the hurried chef trying to make your dish in under 12 seconds at the restaurant.
Watch an instructional YouTube video, teach yourself how to cook something easy yet delicious, then cook for your date.
Not only is it just as impressive, but you may increase your odds of getting lucky…
“Wow baby you liked the food that much? Oh yeah, the bed is just down the hall… Oh well if you insist! …”
Here’s some recipes to get you started