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If you were an investor in restaurant X that only bleeds money and the operating partner suddenly turned around and opened restaurant X' that uses the same staff, recipes, etc. in the same area and mines the reputation of X to support its prices then how quickly would you be on a call with your lawyer? (not saying at all that any of that would be true of Frenchette or other related restaurants, I'm sure they do the right thing)

Not saying it's the case here, and yes Tishman* offers generous TI and I'm sure leases are largely percentage of sales. (maybe in a space as big as that there's a decent minimum). 

* and most developer / landlords from Chelsea Market up to Hudson Yards and east to ESB

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IDK. I've never seen the docs for a restaurant but in my mind its like investing in a management company vs being an LP? Like when you invested in Frenchette do you invest in Frenchette or do you invest in Hanson/Nasr's HoldCo of which Frenchette is an operating unit?  And incremental restaurants involve some form of capital call at the HoldCo that if you don't make is dilutive? 

(and once you are an established player you only allow investments at the operating level?)


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Docs are all over the place, but if you're a reputable operator it's more about fairness and keeping your investor pool content than about predicting all the different ways in which a business can grow. 

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  • 2 months later...
On 8/10/2022 at 9:35 PM, voyager said:

Would love to. 

However, reading Frenchette menu, what are you saying?    Where are the innards?    My  complaint about SF French menus.    Where is the "there"?

If you want to barf, Frenchette is apparently now on Goldbelly, so you can try their pate yourself if you want.

Not sure where you're reading the Frenchette menu but unless its in the restaurant you're not going to get much sense, since the majority of offal and unusual French whatever will show up as daily special, although online I see the riz de veau (but not the great Italianish tripe dish). I'm not convinced the menu online has ever been served - its more examples of what you might be able to eat? Either way, the rotating shellfish and daily specials are where I tend to spend most of my orders.

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14 minutes ago, Sneakeater said:

They used to post their menus daily (late in the day, which is not helpful).  I do think their offerings have gotten a lot more quotidian post-Pandemic.

That's just because they spent the last 6 months testing Le Rock dishes, which you find quotidian (I don't disagree).  I don't think its post-Pandemic-ness, if anything that stuff should be featured given rising food costs.  

If the current menu is right, the Elysian Farms lamb is back in which case I know what I'm eating next Sunday.

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5 hours ago, Jesikka said:

I don't think its post-Pandemic-ness, if anything that stuff should be featured given rising food costs.

Not to be argumentative, but just to have what to me is an interesting discussion, I don't think that's right.

Sure, the ingredient costs of offal dishes are lower.  But in conservative New York, you can't make money serving that stuff, no matter how low the ingredient cost (unless the margin is so high you only have to serve one or two a day to make your nut).  Not only don't most people want offal, but it actively drives them away when they see it on the menu (or God forbid somebody else's table).

(I will repeat that all my fuddy-duddy friends on the fuddy-duddy UWS refused to go to White Gold Butcher because so much of what it served was what they derisively called "Mystery Meat".  You can see why it couldn't stay open in that neighborhood.)

So I think that post-Pandemic, menus have gotten much more boring so as to attract (or at least not repel) as many customers as possible.  With cheaper versions of boring raw materials -- say cheaper chickens or less fine standard beef cuts --to get the margins up.  (And of course plenty of vegetable dishes.)  But not with low-cost variety meats.

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Just to expand on the menu thing, it wasn't that Frenchette didn't post "specials".   It was that the menus changed at least 50% EVERY DAY.  So the menu they posted late each day (and kept up most of the next day) told you very little about what would be available the next night.  (And of course it was always the interesting stuff that changed.)

(Actually, I think that for a long period after the beginning there was always a day's lag time, so you were ALWAYS looking at yesterday's menu.)

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(I think that's the reason our friend J, unaccountably to you and me, likes Le Rock more than Frenchette.  Frenchette's menu was always shorter -- and you never knew what would be available when you went.  You and I prefer that.  But I can see how she prefers a broader menu that's predictable [even if I don't].)

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