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Old 07-29-2022, 01:31 PM   #1
Merrymeeting
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Default Strange season for restaurants in Wolfeboro

The lack of help has really been showing this summer. It's crazy. We have family visiting. A group of 6 headed to Wolfeboro last night for dinner. Started at Wolfetrap. Already turning people away for the night at 6:15. Same at Back Bay. Garwoods was closed closed... on a Thursday... in July. (Anyone know why?).

Ended up inside at Marker 21 due to the heavy rainstorms. Food was good and it ended up being an enjoyable evening. The service was good too, though slow, as it is everywhere.

Guess this is "the new normal".
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Old 07-29-2022, 02:53 PM   #2
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Default slow ? or leisurely?

I'm not sure what makes service "slow" unless we know it took 30 minutes to take an order and an hour to serve it. Otherwise, one person's slow is just leisurely to the party at the next table. Of course, if service is too leisurely/slow, the management/staff misses the opportunity for a second or third seating at that table.
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Old 07-29-2022, 07:11 PM   #3
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The lack of help has really been showing this summer. It's crazy. We have family visiting. A group of 6 headed to Wolfeboro last night for dinner. Started at Wolfetrap. Already turning people away for the night at 6:15. Same at Back Bay. Garwoods was closed closed... on a Thursday... in July. (Anyone know why?).

Ended up inside at Marker 21 due to the heavy rainstorms. Food was good and it ended up being an enjoyable evening. The service was good too, though slow, as it is everywhere.

Guess this is "the new normal".
Perhaps itís time to think about a ďmembers onlyĒ private dinner club in the area. Plenty of money around now to support this year round. Iíve been to a couple of these around the country as a guest, and itís an interesting concept. I know thereís one in Portsmouth, but Iíve not been to that one. I bet memberships would be a hot commodity around here if the right chef and concept was presented.
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Old 07-29-2022, 07:30 PM   #4
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Perhaps itís time to think about a ďmembers onlyĒ private dinner club in the area. Plenty of money around now to support this year round. Iíve been to a couple of these around the country as a guest, and itís an interesting concept. I know thereís one in Portsmouth, but Iíve not been to that one. I bet memberships would be a hot commodity around here if the right chef and concept was presented.

I think we call this concept a Golf Club Club. Bald Peak in Moultonborough comes to mind.
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Old 07-29-2022, 07:49 PM   #5
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I think we call this concept a Golf Club Club. Bald Peak in Moultonborough comes to mind.
Different concept altogether. No golf course required.

Hereís the one in Portsmouth so you can familiarize yourself with the concept:

https://onehundredclub.com/exclusive/the-club/
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Old 07-29-2022, 07:53 PM   #6
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Do you think they will take my coupons?
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Old 07-29-2022, 08:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Merrymeeting View Post
The lack of help has really been showing this summer. It's crazy. We have family visiting. A group of 6 headed to Wolfeboro last night for dinner. Started at Wolfetrap. Already turning people away for the night at 6:15. Same at Back Bay. Garwoods was closed closed... on a Thursday... in July. (Anyone know why?).

Ended up inside at Marker 21 due to the heavy rainstorms. Food was good and it ended up being an enjoyable evening. The service was good too, though slow, as it is everywhere.

Guess this is "the new normal".
Wolfetrap opens around 4pm for dinner, and since they're not taking reservations anymore for the summer, people come early and put their names down to be seated. Boathouse is a heavy locals favorite and is busy daily, but the earlier the better during the summer season. Nolan's was sold and is under new mgmt, but they have an ad out that they're hiring every position, so I'm sure it'll be leisurely as well. O Bistro's former manager opened her own place, Birch & Vine, in the Pinecone Cafe location in Melvin Village; she's open Wed-Sun, 4-9 pm. I expect August to have less tourists but also less help with kids getting back to college...

Today at Full Belli Deli, the place was jammed for lunch pick-up orders, and they'll be closed tomorrow, on Saturday. The Romney's bought Huck's Hoagies near Harvest Market and I've heard mixed reviews. Bistro 19 is open to the public at the Kingswood Golf Club, but call first on their hours. This week's paper said the biggest area of turnover in jobs
in the country is bartenders and servers...
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Old 07-29-2022, 08:18 PM   #8
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We don't bother going out at peak times. Either pre-8 AM breakfasts, 2 o'clock lunches, or 4 o'clock dinners.

The rest of the times can be filled with snacks or fasting, one of which is good for the soul and the other for the body.

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Old 07-29-2022, 09:53 PM   #9
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My wife suggested that I try fasting.

I reminded her that I am too slow for that.
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Old 07-30-2022, 11:05 AM   #10
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Different concept altogether. No golf course required.

Hereís the one in Portsmouth so you can familiarize yourself with the concept:

https://onehundredclub.com/exclusive/the-club/
It appears that Bald Peak offerings are similar to the One Hundred Club. Golf is an option, not a prerequisite. You don't normally hear much about private clubs because...they are private.
Check you home club. There may be some reciprocity with other clubs. This works for us when traveling.

Back to the thread: I would expect private clubs to have the same issues as public establishments when it comes to staffing, overhead, etc. Some of this may be mitigated with dues and minimum dining requirements.
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Old 07-30-2022, 12:26 PM   #11
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Different concept altogether. No golf course required.

Hereís the one in Portsmouth so you can familiarize yourself with the concept:

https://onehundredclub.com/exclusive/the-club/
being as I cannot even find a menu and the pictures don't show anyone in what I call casual attire, I think can safely say its not for me.

Maybe what you need is a residents and tourists restaurants. Need to show license at the door ;-)

Sure miss B-Mae's, Dots, Sandy Point, I guess I'll stop there,,,

Still like The Turkey Farm, but last time we went, we did wait at least 1/2 to get order taken, more then an hour to be served, AND they forgot one persons order!

Yup, and not even an apology from management, thats the most frustrating change I have seen over the years. No one seems to actually be in charge at many restaurants, and when there is someone who appears to be running things, they look like they are mostly doing nothing or just yelling at the help rather than trying to see what can be done to remedy the problem.

Oh and I cannot think of the last time I have seen something major happen like forgetting someones meal, and management comps it or offers dessert to the table at no cost. That was THE solution 20+ years ago, and it usually worked, but I'll bet I havent seen that done in 20 years.

Oh well, much has changed since the millennium and these are just some examples of an evolving world.

Not much you can do but adapt, and move on.
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Old 07-30-2022, 11:01 PM   #12
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It appears that Bald Peak offerings are similar to the One Hundred Club. Golf is an option, not a prerequisite. You don't normally hear much about private clubs because...they are private.
Check you home club. There may be some reciprocity with other clubs. This works for us when traveling.

Back to the thread: I would expect private clubs to have the same issues as public establishments when it comes to staffing, overhead, etc. Some of this may be mitigated with dues and minimum dining requirements.
Customer efficiency.
Private clubs are more like a restaurant with reservations, but they also have control over the number of people that may seek a reservation.

Management for decades meant controlling inventory and staff... but the surge of customers has overrun available inventory and staffing.
No manager can make inventory or trained staff magically appear.

Everyone thinks it will balance... but the Boomers will be picking up the pace of retirement over the next few years... and housing for the younger sector is getting more expensive so they keep getting pushed out of the area.
So it is really going to depend on customer efficiency changing the status quo.

Private diner clubs would do that... but at a cost.
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Old 07-31-2022, 06:59 AM   #13
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We have good friends in FL who frequently take us to their private Club for dinner. Staffing is always a problem, but the Pandemic has seriously affected the ability of the Club to provide the ďClubĒ experience. But we love being with these friends regardless.
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Old 07-31-2022, 08:04 AM   #14
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Many businesses hire people and cross their fingers they show up...
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Old 07-31-2022, 08:38 AM   #15
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The private dining model for the Lakes Region would require some creative thinking. Initiation fee, annual dues and minimum food and beverage spending on a monthly basis. Perhaps utilize an Employee Stock Ownership Program, and payment of above average wages to ensure loyalty and longevity. It’s obviously not for everyone, but I suspect there are enough people around that would enjoy this type of club, and would not be concerned with the cost. Just guarantee me a table, an extraordinary meal with like-minded members, and life would be good.
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Old 07-31-2022, 09:15 AM   #16
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The private dining model for the Lakes Region would require some creative thinking. Initiation fee, annual dues and minimum food and beverage spending on a monthly basis. Perhaps utilize an Employee Stock Ownership Program, and payment of above average wages to ensure loyalty and longevity. Itís obviously not for everyone, but I suspect there are enough people around that would enjoy this type of club, and would not be concerned with the cost. Just guarantee me a table, an extraordinary meal with like-minded members, and life would be good.
With all those criteria, might be easier to just hire a private chef to cook at your home. Although ďlike-minded membersĒ might be difficult for many families.

Seriously, my daughter did set up as a private chef. Clients chose menu and my daughter bought all the food, came to clientís house and cooked the meal as well as cleaned up. Quite lucrative, but hard work.

Donít know if anyone does this in Lakes Region.
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Old 07-31-2022, 09:27 AM   #17
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Everyone thinks it will balance... but the Boomers will be picking up the pace of retirement over the next few years... and housing for the younger sector is getting more expensive so they keep getting pushed out of the area.
So it is really going to depend on customer efficiency changing the status quo.
This is exactly it--the widening split between the haves and have-nots. Some of us keep getting richer--more people in more second homes wanting more and better meals out. But this drives up the cost of real estate pushing younger and less wealthy folks further away. This dynamic is much more extreme than when we were young
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Old 07-31-2022, 10:05 AM   #18
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Not sure if it is that much more extreme. Definitely much more visible with social media and advertising.

Growing up I didnít know what I was missing. Now it is thrown in your face every minute of every day. Grew up in a small house with one car and one black and white tv. Thought we had it made even though others had bigger house, two cars and color tvs.

Too many people no longer thankful for what they have, they are envious of what they donít have.


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Old 07-31-2022, 10:51 AM   #19
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Another variation that continues to grow: Retiremnt communities. As noted by Seaplane Pilot: Initiation fee, annual dues and minimum food and beverage spending. Yes, tghey have other amenities, but they also take a certain share of the dining out population out of the market. Around here, we say Retirement community. In FL the trend now is "retirement resort" and there is an expectation that many "members" will go north May-September.
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Old 07-31-2022, 01:10 PM   #20
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This is exactly it--the widening split between the haves and have-nots. Some of us keep getting richer--more people in more second homes wanting more and better meals out. But this drives up the cost of real estate pushing younger and less wealthy folks further away. This dynamic is much more extreme than when we were young
I see it more in the different spending appetites.

Not really much more different than the Cape, the Vineyard, or Nantucket...
The small cottages away from the water with the beautiful gardens in comparison to the waterfront lifestyles.

But where a business like Middleton Meredith used to focus on residents and seasonal (homeowners here all summer - not just weekends)... so it was only open Saturday for a half day... it transformed itself into also serving those weekenders.

It required the whole location to be rebuilt to handle the higher traffic and stocking.

When a restaurant would handle residents and seasonal, it knew that it would need X amount of seating and staff along with specific policies and advertising to handle that customer base. You change the customer base to weekenders included... and a whole host of issues takes hold very quickly.

Do I shutdown hours earlier in the week, so that I can beef up my staff on the weekend? How do I handle the extra seating? Can my kitchen keep up with the extra short term demand? Is it worth expending the capital to upgrade the kitchen? etc.

Any time you overload a link in the supply chain... it isn't going to come out well. It just takes time for management to adapt to the new normal, and some management will be faster than others.
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Old 07-31-2022, 01:31 PM   #21
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Not sure if it is that much more extreme. Definitely much more visible with social media and advertising.

Growing up I didnít know what I was missing. Now it is thrown in your face every minute of every day. Grew up in a small house with one car and one black and white tv. Thought we had it made even though others had bigger house, two cars and color tvs.

Too many people no longer thankful for what they have, they are envious of what they donít have.


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I agree on envy and social media, and I guess "extreme" is in the eye of the beholder, but we can all see a huge number of hugely expensive homes on and around the lake that were not there a generation ago. That's a lot of people looking for a nice dinner or fancy club.

On general inequality, there are a slew of measures to choose from--here's a good piece that has a bunch of them. It also describes the shrinking middle with a "small house..."
https://www.pewresearch.org/social-t...th-inequality/
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Old 07-31-2022, 10:25 PM   #22
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I think people are mistaking income for wealth.
A lot of my lake customers can't afford to live and work in the area... they have to travel to southern New England states to earn enough to cover the expenses of the trappings of what has been come to be viewed as wealth.
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Old 08-01-2022, 08:50 AM   #23
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Default More than money

The decision to live in MA, CT, RI, or other states while still maintaining a secondary residence here in NH (or ME or VT) goes farther than straight money. Kids are still attending schools, family activities in their respective communities, etc..

One major factor for those who can't telecommute is the commuting time. At more than 1.5 hour's commute each way (probably 2+ hrs each way), the commuting time would eat up any of the pressure derived from living up here.

Way to many factors to pin it on just the earning capability.

JMHO

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Old 08-01-2022, 12:41 PM   #24
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We are in the middle of summer... and they are commuting back and down M-F.

Sort of unusual for the items you list.
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