21 January 2012

Dining Out with the Mums

Tonight I had the chance to go out to dinner with a group of mom friends. I have just one question: How do German restaurants stay in business? In America you go in, eat, then leave and someone else will take your place. In Germany they love long leisurely meals with great conversation. This is wonderful unless you 1) have children or 2) have to get home to your children. Maybe going out to dinner is more of an occasion here than my typical 'I don't want to cook, meet you at restaurant X after work.'

I've had to ask for our food to be brought, and you always have to ask for the check. A few months ago I had gotten a rather large group of people together for a steak dinner. We sat there for like 4 hours. It was very enjoyable; we took up 2 of their tables. Our bill was a couple hundred Euros, but surely they need to sell more to sustain a business.

Tonight, there was 6 tables and one take out that I saw (we were the only party more than two). I was there from 7:45 to 11 pm. I was early for the reservation, so I walked around a bit. I passed Asian and Italian restaurants and a bar/restaurant in a very nice hotel. None of these establishments had patrons. On a Friday night. On the way back to the tram I walked the same route. You guessed it: only a handful of people at the Sushi bar. I don't think they had a deluge of customers while I was at the Indian place.

So, my question is: How do German restaurants stay in business???? If you know something that I don't please tell me! What is a dining out experience like where you live?


  1. We don't dine out often but we have gone out at least once a month. Also, our son is in the business so this subject is important to us. When the recession hit, we noticed a sharp downturn in restaurant dining everywhere. Lately, though, there has been an increase so maybe people are just tired of eating at home. I think it is the economy. Also, you are right about Americans keeping places busy. Lately, though, it may take some time to replace the diners that do eat out.

  2. It's just part of their culture not to hurry people when eating. But I notice many places have additional seating or seating outside and they turn tables over pretty quickly if someone leaves. If you have to ask for food, did someone have an appetizer and not eat it? We went out the other night with friends. One ordered an appetizer and asked it to be brought first not with the food, but she barely touched it. We waited sooo long for our food. Finally the waitress came and asked if it was okay with the girl if she brought all the main courses out. Seems they were waiting on her to finish her appetizer first. So if you want to get food faster I would recommend asking for the appetizer to be brought with the food or letting them know the food can be brought out whenever it's ready.

    1. PS: This is Amanda at Overseas Adventures...Idk why Blogger isn't letting me sign in with Wordpress lately.

  3. I am well aware of the culture here. Maybe more people eat out during the warmer months. It wasn't a problem of an apetizer. There is this one restaurant that we love that just takes forever to serve. I was there a couple weeks ago with a friend, we were the only people in the whole place. We had to ask for our food. I think it's hard for Americans to slow down like the Germans. Ever needed milk on a Sunday? Yes, the neighborhood stores are all closed. Some places still have a siesta too. It can be frustrating, but pleasant once you give into change.


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