“Thank God It’s Friday” is an expression we all know and many live by. It’s generally applied universally, notwithstanding retail and certain public services, such as hospitals.

“We were summer young and livin’ for a Friday”

“Freedom Was a Highway” by Jimmie Allen & Brad Paisley

It marks the end of the work week and is often celebrated by going out. It’s a reward that may or may not be warranted. Nonetheless, most feel they’ve earned some good times that are best enjoyed with food & drink in an atmosphere conducive to socializing.

The beat-down of a mundane workplace requires hope

The workplace can be a demoralizing environment at times and looking forward to a reprieve, even for a couple of days, is the glimmer of hope needed to forge ahead. Almost every job or career has its weeks that one just wants to end. It’s capsuled in the Monday – Friday routine. And when it’s over, celebrating is a given.

The dreary and sometimes hectic office setting has been exaggerated countless times. It’s mimicked in the movie 1984, but it can feel like that at times.

1984 – The movie

Restaurants have their own agenda regarding TGIF

Conversely for restaurants, Friday is the day that business ramps up and hopefully carries through the weekend. It’s by far the busiest part of the week and a key to a successful business. Make hay while the sun shines.

Lunch is a chance to get an early start

It starts with lunch. Definitely the busiest lunch of the week. And for good reason too. People have been eating lunch at their workplace – or worse, at their desk – all week and feel they’ve earned a reprieve. Getting out of the office just feels good and it’s a brief escape from the work environment.

We sold more desserts on Friday lunches by far. Customers were more inclined to order a drink as well. People were ready to let go a bit as they sat back and talked about their plans for the weekend. The vibe in the room was euphoric yet relaxing. A busy well-run dining room contributed to this atmosphere.

There were also more large parties which did make it difficult for seating. Fortunately our moveable table arrangement did allow us flexibility (more on this in a future post). This didn’t mean that we didn’t turn away large parties just before lunch began as we were almost fully booked. You snooze, you lose. This reminds me of New Year’s Eve reservations.

The lounge did fill up with the overflow as the food offerings were comparable to the dining room. And it had its regulars who preferred the less formal atmosphere.

Catching our breath

We closed the dining room after lunch and set up for the evening. The lounge remained open and was basically quiet until the workday finished around 4:00 – 5:00.

Preparation for a busy Friday night after a hectic lunch added to the “all hands on deck” atmosphere. The regular season had been completed and we were ready for the playoffs. I love sports analogies.

Friday night is the start of the weekEND

The dining room was less business and more family & friends than the Monday – Thursday crowd. Out-of-town business associates had already gone home. There was still that end of the workweek buzz, and the serving staff could feel it as well. The week was still fresh in everyone’s mind and now it was time to enjoy. The weekend anticipation was evident.

The bar had a distinct pattern though. There was a wave of customers that came right from work. Meeting friends or colleagues not seen the past week was common. Generally, they just stayed for a few drinks and left.

There was a lull in the bar from early evening until around 8:00 – 9:00 PM. It then picked up, became standing room only, and didn’t slow down much until last call. Yet it had a different vibe than any other night, including Saturday. It’s really hard to explain.

Changing hats from a businessman to a restaurateur

The other aspect of TGIF for me was that my banker or landlord didn’t bother me about business affairs after 5:00 on Fridays. I could concentrate on being a restaurateur, not a businessman. Thank God it was Friday.