Northwest's The Bent Brick and Park Kitchen will soon eliminate tipping, the O reports, and with their new "one house" business model, expect your cook to deliver your meal and your waiter to have prepared some of your food. Owner Scott Dolich tells Eater The Bent Brick and Park Kitchen will soon train staff in the roles of both waiters and cooks, effectively eliminating the distinction between front of house and back of house (hence "one house").
Dolich says he wanted to create a more sustainable work environment for his staff. The cooks needed more money, he said, and waiters needed more consistent, year-round income and health benefits. With the new restaurant model, Dolich aims to offer full-time employment and benefits to all of his staff, while giving cooks a raise.
To pay for it, The Bent Brick and Park Kitchen will raise it's menu prices by around 18 percent. "My goal is the only thing that diners will notice is that they don't have to do a semi-complicated math problem at the end of their meal," says Dolich. That, and you'll get to meet your cook, something Dolich says diners have already responded positively to at The Bent Brick, where the one house model has been tested.
"Besides it being a more personalized dining experience for guests, it's been really educational for chefs, because it gives them a totally different perspective on cooking," says Dolich. "It's one thing to put a plate up in the window and have someone take it out, and it's another thing to deliver the food to the customer. It totally changes how, as a cook, you see what you do."
For those who really want to nerd down, here's how it will work: The waiters at the restaurants will still be responsible for sections of the dining room, and not all positions at the restaurants will be fluid: Dolich says floor and bar managers and head and sous chefs will not mingle roles. As for training, new waiters will complete basic training similar to what most cooks undergo at the restaurant: They start on the kitchen's cold station and move up to the hot station. Ultimately, waiters will prep food during the day and serve guests during meal hours. Dolich says that the one house model specifically suits his restaurants, which are "just small enough for it to work."
The Bent Brick and Park Kitchen will begin training staff in the coming weeks, and Dolich says he hopes to unveil the new business model mid 2016.