Sunday, July 11, 2010

Our Sunday Aperitivo

Our aperitivo on Sundays is going well, each week there are more people. Although now that the heat has arrived, we reckon people will tend to stay until late at the beach and either come late for the aperitivo or not bother at all. So we’ll have to see how it goes in July. I say we should play it by ear. Have a minimum of food prepared and then if necessary prepare more. Although that could prove difficult if we have to prolong the aperitivo until later as it could clash with customers who wish to have a meal – too much activity for the kitchen. We’ll see.

The locals love it, because our food is so good. When I think back to the aperitivos we used to have in Tuscany, ours is definitely more abundant and better quality of food, all freshly prepared. The whole idea of the aperitivo is that you don’t make money on the food, but rather on the drinks consumed, as people will want to have a second drink to accompany their second round of the dishes. That is how we operated in Tuscany anyway. But here, unfortunately, it is not quite so. Many people seem able to consume large quantities of food without having a second drink and have no qualms about coming in and filling up their plates again! There is one customer in particular, a cousin, who comes and indulges to the max. He actually said last Sunday, I haven’t eaten since breakfast, I was saving myself for this aperitivo. He and his wife fill and refill, but when it comes to paying, it seems to become painful for him. He limps towards the bar and reluctantly takes out his wallet. Now, the aperitivo costs €6, including your drink, and subsequent drinks are their usual price. Can’t do much better than that. But this cousin likes to get preferential treatment, meaning a healthy discount. When he and friends dine, they do get discounts, but it is hard to discount the aperitivo when only a couple of drinks have been consumed. The total was €17 as he did have a second cocktail and while he had a €20 note at the ready, he seemed to be shuffling rather obviously a couple of €10 and €5 notes, perhaps hoping for a discount? Since none was forthcoming, he then wanted a beer to round it off at €20; rather than choosing one that costs €3 (all of them bar three), he specifically requested a €4 one. I said, Well then we can give you a little discount, smiling sweetly. He said, Just as well, because I didn’t have any change! He’s probably annoyed he always gets me on the till rather than mio marito, his cousin, who would probably feel obliged to give him a good discount, even on the aperitivo – which is virtually free!

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