Believe it. I don’t know if I’m the first person to see this or the last, but it all makes perfect sense now.

Like many of you out there (I’m sure), I have put a considerable amount of thought into opening a restaurant once I get old. I don’t know what it’s going to be yet — nothing special, probably a classy burger joint or sandwich shop or something — but, entrepreneurial instincts ablaze, the inevitable questions have been racing through my head: what’s going to make my restaurant different from the rest?  What’s going to draw a crowd and keep them coming back for more?

I could go the cliché way and say my delicious cooking. But then again, I’m not that good of a cook at the moment, and who knows if I have the will or the patience to become a five-star chef? No, I need something else, something truly revolutionary.

Along this line of thinking, I considered all the restaurants I had ever eaten at and what could be better about each experience. And as I went down the list, one theme constantly resurfaced — discomfort.

What restaurant have you ever been to that you can sit in your seat comfortably for an hour without your butt going numb, or you wanting to lie down or something? Seats are never tall enough for cushioned headrests, and in most restaurants customers have to resort to huddling in their chairs, wishing it were a recliner (or had wheels).

Choose your discomfort.

Comfortable chairs are good in theory. But I almost immediately noticed that despite how awesome cushiony recliners would be, it would put a severe economic and sanitary burden on any restaurant. Spilling food and drink on your shirt would become commonplace if you could lean back 45 degrees comfortably in your chair. Nice chairs look all that much grosser when they get ketchup and grease on them.

And quite simply, people just wouldn’t want to leave once they sat down. Customers could easily fall asleep, accidentally or otherwise, slowing the flow of business. I know eating a good meal tires me out.  Who’s going to be monitoring the customers every second to make sure they don’t faceplant in their fries? And worse, imagine trying to force a full-stomached, bleary-eyed, cranky customer from a nap-worthy chair.

Maybe a different approach is necessary. Maybe I can open a bar-hotel (not the other way around) in which people can get wasted and have someplace to crash. It would keep drunk drivers off the road. I could even make a room called the Vomitorium for those who inevitably drink too much (ladies, hold your “ew”s, I’m being serious).

Or maybe that’s an awful idea. I don’t know. It’s a process, planning all this out.  My quest to create the perfect dining experience continues.

– Tim Freer