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Handy Restaurants

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Severa! yeara ago a big retail dry goods house trird the experiment of providing a restaurant for its customers. It took tfn :i large section oí one floor, and was fitteU wit!) polished hard wood tables. A spare was rosarved on the upper floor for the kitchetú and an arniy of girls was employud to act as waiters. The experiment was a success almost froni the start, as the members of the firm knew it would be. Prior to that time customers had been interrupted frequently in the midst of their shopping by the uecessüy of going out to lunch. As there did not happen to be a good restaurant in the vicinity, this always meant a considerable loss of time. and. as a rule, the shopper would not return that day. If she desired to do any other shopping she would go to sonie store more convenient to the restaurant .here she lunched. By opening a restaurant iu the store, therefore, the firm was enabled to keep its customers, and the latter were not interrupted so much in their buying. Furthermore, many persons came to the restaurant and were induced to purchase by tlie sight of the things around them, so that the direct profits of the restaurant were only a Kmall portion of the entire profits that came froin it in indirect ways. The restaurant itself was au attraction. it was large and airy, anda cheerful place to sit in. Shoppers who were tired ont froin standing around bargaiu counters or wallring from one place to another found it very pleasant to coine here and rest. ft often happened that the lunch was considerably prolonged by the chatting of friends who met at the tables. The food and the way in which it was prepared did credit to the place, and the prices compared favorar bly with the prices of the other articles for sale there. PROFITS FROM THE START. The restaurant had not been long in existenoe before the flrm concluded to secure still further profits from it. They did this by establishing in a separate nom a restaurant for their employés. The same kind of food that was served in the public restaurant was served to the employés, but at reduced prices. As nearly as could be figured the employés obtained their lunch at cost. The only proviso made by the firm in regard to this was that those who took advantage of their restaurant would not be allowed to leave the establishment until the day's work was over. The employés were not compelled to patronize the restaurant, and if they wanted to go elsewhere were allowed the same time as usual; but it was soon shown that the firm had made no mistake, because only a small number of the employés went outside. A uumber of other dry goods houses bave established restaurants. One of these is very excellent, and compares favorably with first-class restaurants elsewhere. The bill of fare is elabórate, the service is very good, and every attempt is made to please. At the same time the prices are below those chaxged for similar service in regular restaurants. A reporter visited a number of these restaurants the other day. The one last referred to was found to be the most attractive. it is a large room on the second floor of the building, away from the noise of trade, and is very nicely fitted up. There ia a velvet carpet on the floor, and the ïurniture is all appropriate. A magnificent carved oak sideboard stands in one corner of the room, and is made brilliant by handsome utensils of chased and engraved silver and elabórate pieces of cut glass. The tabledoths are of the finest linen. All the china and silverware compare in quality with those found in any first-class restaurant. There is only one man in the restaurant and he ia the cashier. modera prices. The manager isá woman and the waiters are all young girls. The person who selected'these evidently had an eye to the L8síhetic, as they are all pleasant to look at. They wear uniform black dresses, with pretty white lace caps and aprons. The reporter was looked at with surprise when he carne in, and the manager carne up to nirn at once and informed him that gentlemen were not allowed there unless accompanied by ladies. An exception was made in his case, however, as he was simpiy looking for information. An idea of the prices can be obtained froin this list of extras on the bill of fare: Chicken soup, 20 cents; lobster ala Newburg, 30 cents: lamb chops, breaded, with green pens, 35 cents; chicken croquettes, with cream sauce, 40 cents; roast beef, 25 cents; roast veal, stuifed, 25 cents; roast turkey, with cranberry sauce, 50 cents. A notice was appended to the bill of fare to the effect that no extra charge would be made when one portiou was served for two. The importance of this was apparcnt when it was fouud that the portions were unusually large, and that one was always large enough for two. Leading out of the restaurant was a handsomely fitted wiïting room for the benefit of its patrons. Handsoine polishot! hard wood tables and pretty little fancy seats were provided, together with all the little accessories necessary for comfort. One of the restaurants had a parlor adjoining it for the aocommodation of customers. The prici-s at this restaurant were crrasideralily below those of the first. Roast tnrkey was put down at 30 cents aud roast chicken at the same. The other extras were: Celery, 12 cents; Tokay grapes, 10 cents; pears or oranges, 5 cents, and erauberry sauce, 7 cents. All these restaurants do their cooking in the store