Thursday, 21 August 2014

Who Would be a Wirt?

As mentioned in the previous post, we experienced a few days of inclement weather in Munich. After sitting in the Bräustüberl, or restaurant section of a couple of beer gardens, and watching the rain pouring down outside, I was left pondering what happens to the myriad of staff who would normally be employed serving and generally looking after the running of the beer garden?

This is not such a dumb question as it might at first seem, as even the self-service areas (Selbstbedienung) require staff to man the serving hatches (both the food and the drink ones), people to man the tills at the exits, and staff to go round collecting up the empty glasses and plates. In addition, extra waiting staff are needed to look after those areas which are not self-service.

So, what happens when it rains? What do the management do with all these extra people? Are they sent home without pay? Or are they employed on a casual basis anyway, where they only get paid for those days/sessions they actually work? Also, how does the management cater for the decreased demand? Beer is probably not too much of a problem, but perishable items, such as meat and vegetables almost certainly are, and when the demand is not there, what happens to all those knuckles of pork and roast chickens?

Then there is also the financial aspect of decreased turnover. Again, most establishments will be able to cope with the odd rainy day or two, but what if the wet spell is prolonged? This must be of particular concern to the larger beer gardens; places such as Hirschgarten or Chinesischer Turm which, at their peak, can cater for upwards of 8,000 drinkers? Knowing the Germans and their legendary reputation for efficiency, I expect they are more than able to cope with these sorts of situations, but as an outside observer who is involved in allocation of work duties on a day to day basis, I was just wondering how it all works out.


Tandleman said...

I have often wondered that Paul. Must make some enquiries. Sorry to hear about the weather though.

Paul Bailey said...

It wasn't all bad Peter, as I'll report on later, but at one point I really did think we had been struck down with the same bad-luck as you've had recently.