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50 Best, Michelin Rest, Fees on Toast, and more...
Family Meal - Friday, June 23, 2023
And hello from somewhere high above the Pacific between Tokyo and D.C., on our way to about a month up and down the East Coast, attempting a bit of the ol’ “working holiday” on a 12 hour time difference with three young kids. Wish us luck! Tell me where to eat!
Let’s get to it…
That List – 50 Best 2023 is out, and Lima is in. Top 10, top to bottom: Central, Lima; Disfrutar, Barcelona; Diverxo, Madrid; Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain; Alchemist, Copenhagen; Maido, Lima; Lido 84, Gardone Riviera, Italy; Atomix, NYC; Quintonil, Mexico City; and Table by Bruno Verjus, Paris. Eater’s Hillary Dixler Canavan has the full list and necessary disclaimers here. The only other US spot in the top 50 is Le Bernardin at 44.
Congrats, all! Asia — all of Asia — coming in big with a French restaurant in Singapore at number 14! Africa somewhere I’m sure! What a year! What a list! What a world!
Michelin Season – 50 Best, Shmifty Best. “The ultimate stamp of excellence in the restaurant industry is coming to Colorado,” according to Lily O’Neill in the Denver Post. “Michelin has partnered with the Colorado Tourism Office to establish the [new Colorado Guide], and the Colorado Tourism Office covers some of the costs incurred to fund communication, digital and marketing campaigns to promote the selections, according to [Guide director] Gwendal Poullennec.”
No one has reported how much Colorado Tourism paid, but odds are support for the book is coming from multiple directions, possibly including some kind of cashflow via what the official announcement called “partners OpenTable, Resy, and SevenRooms.” Presumably that’s affiliate-style, like how the NYT takes a cut when readers book through official reviews? Cool cool cool.
The Fees – Speaking of cuts… Per Aaron Pressman in the Boston Globe: “Consumers who order food online from many restaurants that use Toast’s popular payment software are in for an unhappy surprise. The Boston company will start tacking a new 99-cent fee onto orders over $10 at a small portion of the restaurants it serves starting on Tuesday, with plans to add the fee nationwide on July 10. But consumers may not immediately realize they are getting charged a new fee. According to a mock-up of Toast’s online app seen by The Boston Globe, the fee is not listed separately on the app’s checkout screen and is instead part of a combined line called ‘Taxes & Fees.’”
You have to appreciate the math. “The fee move could also help Toast — which has never shown a profit in its decade plus of existence — reach profitability more quickly… It lost $81 million, on $819 million of revenue, in the [first quarter of 2023]. But Toast has told Wall Street analysts it could be cash flow positive excluding some expenses for the full year.”
Yes, yes, YES! $1 per order times 81 million orders, and we’re there, fellas! Profit! We cracked the code!
The Fees Too – Meanwhile, in LA, the LAT’s Cindy Carcamo has a great, long write-up on “a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Joint Venture Restaurant Group, Inc., which owns Jon & Vinny’s. Workers claim that the company denied them tips and therefore shortchanged them on their take-home pay because of confusion resulting from [an] 18% service fee.” There is a lot of confusion. And despite trying to read the article twice on this plane, I’m still not exactly sure who’s right. Highly recommend you read it and tell me what you think. (And please let me know if you’re FOH or BOH if you do…)
…And I would almost feel bad for Eater for not getting the more blatant brand name placement, but man are they making some advertising hay their site, where The Bear is just The Bear and The Bear is everywhere...
ALL EPISODES NOW STREAMING.
And that’s it for today!
If there’s anything I shouldn’t miss around NYC or DC over the next month or so, please lmk! Like, not The Bear, but other things?
If I don’t see you there…
I’ll see everyone back here Friday for next Family Meal.
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