Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sing for your supper

Focus group testing (my wife and two of my daughters) suggests that this might be better as a weekend special theme and not a permanent theme.

Inspired by hearing of colonial-era taverns (an era when everyone was supposed to be able to sing for himself if he wanted music), I wondered how features of that could be brought over into modern dining.

Consider a restaurant with basic pub food. Its target is singles less than about 30-35; definitely not families.

Patrons pay for food and drink before getting it--to make it convenient prices should round to even dollars after taxes.

The central idea is to sing together with "strangers".

  • The patrons fill up tables for 6--a seventh seat to be squeezed in if a couple arrives. No new tables are used until the earlier ones are full. You would likely be seated with at least one stranger. At staff discretion, large parties might be split up between tables to mix them up.
  • There is no canned music of any kind, and both players and recordings are forbidden. Patrons are expected to sing. If you sing for 2 minutes for your table, a dollar is knocked off the price of your entree--$2 if all 6 join in. Repeated songs don't count.
  • Staff can veto a song (no Horst Wessel or other vile stuff please--looking for good fun).
  • Patrons can play piano as long as at least 3 people sing along, or if the staff agree.
  • Table singing competitions are encouraged, and prizes awarded. Outstanding performance is decided by acclaim or by staff pick. Prizes could be a bowl of house specialty snack, bubble mix and wands--whatever the market might like.

There are a few details that would need to be worked out. Enforcing rules about songs might get hard, but without something in place the restaurant might get a name as a place where, for example, women aren't comfortable.

The menu should be short or it would be too taxing for the staff to sing it out...

1 comment:

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I like this, and would patronise one if it gained any altitude in my area. I suspect it wouldn't. I think there would have to be some cultural tradition driving it to keep it from being a novelty item: an ethnic group, a college, a rugby team adopting it.

I'm passing this on to son #2 north of Houston, where this might actually have a shot.