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Servers can typically see when a group of diners is enjoying their meal (plus, you know, they get the tips). But the kitchen staff, not so much.
That’s a big reason why the Kyirisan‘s menu has the option show some extra appreciation to the folks preparing the food. For $12, patrons can send a round of beer to the kitchen. For $24, they can share a round of Scotch.
Beverage Director Tim Russell came up with the idea, but he’s not the first. Daikaya‘s menu also lists the option to buy the kitchen a six-pack, inspired by Alla Spina in Philadelphia. Daikaya chef Katsuya Fukushima will repeat the menu offering at his newest place, Bantam King, too.
“It’s a fun thing and my staff certainly appreciates it after a Friday or Saturday night service,” says Kyirisan chef/owner Tim Ma. “It gets us through break-down, albeit a little slower than normal.”
Miller High Life is typically the beer of choice, while Glenfiddich is the go-to Scotch.
At most, Ma says his crew has received five or six rounds of drinks in a night. But other nights, it might not be any, so they spread the drinking fund around.
“There’s no way our staff could get through five or six rounds of Scotch and function,” Ma says. Sometimes the alcohol is shared with the front-of-house staff during post-shift meetings. Other times, patrons partake too. “After 9 o’clock, you start to get people who want to take the shots with us,” he says.
Even if the diners aren’t sharing shots, the tickets for staff drinks come to the bar, which is right next to the kitchen. Every time a diner buys a round, Russell posts it on the window so the cooks can see it in real time.
“It’s a morale boost when we’re going through a very, very hectic service,” Ma says. “Regardless of what we think is going on, it’s nice to see that feedback sometimes.”