It was once a special occasion to eat outside the home at a weekend restaurant. After a week preparing your own meals, something exciting was prepared and served for a good dinner by another person. As the food scene has evolved, food is now an occurrence for many every day. Why one should cook homemeal, where you need to prepare and clean up, and relax and sit back while served at a restaurant? If this is the advantage of eating, why is your own food in a restaurant common?
Restaurant where you cook your own food is not passive experiences; they’re communal and interactive. Cooks are not passive experiences. The social part is the appeal for many. Groups of friends sit in the middle of a table around a hot pot or grill while they drink, eat and chat. Diners select raw foods from the table on dishes and then wait for them to cook. This allows the restaurant to cook meats exactly as it wants.
Diners put their selection of meats and vegetables in the broth and expect them to cook. They are then caught with a slotted spoon or a ladle from the soup and plunged into a preferred sauce. The broth can be ladled and drunk in a bowl.
Korean barbecue is the method to grill in the center of the table thin pieces of meat and vegetables. The meat is served with a selection of banyans and either the servers or the diners place the meat on the grill. When the meat cooks it is up to the dinner person to rotate and remove the meat when cooked to the liking of each person.
As for the do it yourself restaurant, it also has some advantages. The major advantage is overhead costs. While the restaurant can focus on product quality, the number of people needed in the kitchen and on the floor can be reduced to minimum. Restaurant to restaurant and style to style will vary. While these cook-it-yourself restaurants generally use a more hand-off approach, servers are on the floor to help you. In Korean barbecue, for example, servers check regularly on the table to adjust the grill temperature and help cook meat.
“Cook-it-yourself” food is a jovial activity that involves customers. It is casual and it is as fun to cook the food as to eat it, whether in a small group or a large group.