Christmas dinner at a restaurant needs a budget just like the home Christmas dinner. The budget depends on the type of restaurant, be it a hotel buffet with other families lining up to spoon the squid salad or a designer menu for the family concerned. The budget will also depend on the number of people at the table, and drinks of course.
Families have Christmas dinner in restaurants for valid reasons. Women might be tired of slaving over the hot stove for a whole week before Christmas, only to have the whole family glued to their cellphones and not talking to Grandpa Bellamy or their cousins from abroad. Washing up could be a contentious issue. The family home might not be big enough to accommodate out of town visitors.
Restaurants take care of all the above problems, at a price. That is why budget logistics must be ironed out before December 25, before entering the restaurant.Will there be a single tab for pre-dinner drinks? Bear it in mind that some family members are O.K. with bottled water, while others are into whisky or wine that has been lounging in barrels for over eight years.
· Does the restaurant want the money upfront to protect itself in case you change your mind?
· Will family members send $100 dollars to cousin Dorothea’s account so that she can put the dinner on her credit card?
· Which family members are exempt from sending money to cousin Dorothea?
· Who will tip waiters? This is no ordinary tip so, $20 is out of the question.
The restaurant Christmas dinner usually has a coordinator, the person who came up with the idea and lobbied for the family buy-in. He or she will be responsible for the budget and making sure that family members talk to each other.After all, Christmas day is marketed as a family day, isn’t it?
By: Nonqaba waka Msimang.