Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Chez Auction

Bid for your food
  (+11, -1)(+11, -1)
(+11, -1)
  [vote for,
against]

The diners all take their seats, in tables of four, some of them browsing their menus, others turning their gaze towards the auctioneer at the front of the room. He welcomes them to Chez Auction, and hopes they will enjoy their dining experience.

Those reading the menu notice the dishes are listed not according to type of dish, but according to lot number. They scan through the list, deciding what to bid for.

The auctioneer describes the first lot up for auction, a simple Greek salad. Bidding is low, and it is claimed by an elderly lady, raising her menu to indicate her bid to the auctioneer. The auction is underway!

At first, the dishes on offer are relatively plain ones, and some fail to reach the reserve prices. This adds extra tension to the later stages of the auction. For, although this is where the finest dishes are presented for auction, the total number of dishes matches the total number of diners - and anyone who fails to win a dish receives a bowl of porridge for their meal. At least they can console themselves with the excellent wine menu (they do not need to bid for their choice of wine).

After the auction is complete, the dishes are served (with little delay, since the chefs knew in advance exactly what they would be preparing).

Having to bid for one's food leads to some interesting tactics. One table decide to bid as individuals, while another table decide to split the total cost between them.

At a table across the room, the diners have decided to bid for a middle-of-the-range dish each, but also to club together and bid for one particularly classy dish to share between them.

Meanwhile, at the neighbouring table, a husband is trying to persuade his wife to allow him to bid for the braised aardvark. She, however, would prefer that they bid together for the two duck dishes being offered as one lot, surmising that since diners often want different dishes to their friends, they could get a bargain if they bid for the pair.

Agreements are reached, bids are made, meals are won, consolatory porridge is served, the evening is enjoyed, and all agree that Chez Auction is a venue well worth returning to.

[Edited to remove betting cap.]

imaginality, Nov 06 2006

(?) http://dictionary.r...e.com/browse/drivel I don't see how drivel fits. [Chefboyrbored, Nov 06 2006]

[link]






       //...and all agree that Chez Auction is a venue well worth returning to.//   

       Hooray, cut price porridge!
zen_tom, Nov 06 2006
  

       How can there be a maximum spend per table? If everyone wants lasagne and so it gets bid up to above this maximum spend is no one allowed it?
hippo, Nov 06 2006
  

       "Nearly 500 words of drivel."   

       Huh? I think this is rather well explained, actually, translating observations from a real auction to a restaurant. You might not like it, but I don't see how the presentation is at fault!
jutta, Nov 06 2006
  

       I would bun this if there was no "cap" on bidding, that is what an auction is for right? I would also cook for an event like this, esp if the profits went to somthing worth while. Good Idea!
Chefboyrbored, Nov 06 2006
  

       Seems like a bit too much work for going out to eat, but would be great as a charity event.
PollyNo9, Nov 06 2006
  

       The bidding cap was intended to reassure customers by indicating the maximum possible cost for their meal (so they know it's not just a way for the restaurant to rake in lots of money), but yep, it's more authentically auction-like without it, and of course it's definitely better without a bidding cap if the auction's for charity. So... viola! No more cap!
imaginality, Nov 06 2006
  

       I would bid for the porridge. I love porridge - yum yum, pig's bum have a bun - like my rhyme? +
xenzag, Nov 06 2006
  

       Cheers for defending the drivellessness of my (admittedly superfluous though hopefully evocative) explanation, [jutta] and [Chefboyrbored].   

       Don't worry though, [Ra], I often talk cobblers (much the same thing as drivel, but a better word for it), so I'm sure you'll have plenty of other chances to call me on it.
imaginality, Nov 06 2006
  

       [xenzag], your rhyme is truly something. And, sir, may I apologise profusely, unreservedly, for the pig's bum in your porridge; I'll speak to the head chef about this immediately.
imaginality, Nov 06 2006
  

       Cap gone Bun inserted.
Chefboyrbored, Nov 06 2006
  

       Why not have diners bid for individual ingredients rather than the entire dish? Not being a noted gourmand myself, I can't think of any specific examples , but there's bound to be at least a couple of different dishes that are either made or ruined by the addition of a particular ingredient. Which could spark some interesting bidding wars between tables... Once the bidding ends, the table must dine on a meal made (to the best of the chef's ability) from the ingredients they "won".
lostdog, Nov 06 2006
  

       Lostdog you make no sense. First you say auction ingredients because certain combinations of such would be no good. Then you suggest the Chef supply you with a combination of ingredients prepaired to the best of his ability. Where are you going with this?
Chefboyrbored, Nov 06 2006
  

       With a slight twist it might even work as a novelty restaurant for hyped-up stock market types who just can't unwind at the end of the day.   

       "Cheese is trading high tonight, because table 4 seems to be going for a classic macaroni cheese. But if we sell high on our Parmesan, we might be able to pull off a coup on salmon. Beef stock is rising... Table 3 is in the gravy market again..."
lostdog, Nov 06 2006
  

       No Chef, I say that the chef has to make a meal out of the ingredients that you come away with at the end of the auction.   

       Fairly sure I'm going to hell in a handbasket with this because -   

       a) It's not my idea in the first place, and b) I don't know much about cooking.
lostdog, Nov 06 2006
  

       I will keep my Chef mouth shut.
Chefboyrbored, Nov 06 2006
  

       You could do this as part of silent auction at one of those charity luncheons. Say 15 meals would be auctioned. Some on display on a bed of ice and under a sneeze guard, and others others hot or flaming by large color posters.   

       While every one else gets a choice of chicken or fish, the lucky fifteen get something special and a little chat with the chef.
popbottle, Dec 22 2014
  
      
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