You’re planning a meal out; do you opt for a little Italian, a curry house, or a bustling Mexican? Thanks to a new ‘super restaurant’ you may not have to choose – but do you want to dine with 1,000 others?
A new ‘super-restaurant’ called Za Za Bazaar has opened in Bristol. It seats 1,000 diners and serves all manner of cuisines; and seven more are planned across the UK.
If American style all-you-can-eat buffets are your thing, you’re in luck – this ‘restaurant’ serves up cuisine from all continents laid out on a buffet, with some orders, such as pizza and fajitas, cooked fresh.
Does big have more buzz?
The owners say that the busy 700-capacity upstairs is designed to have the look and feel of a ‘buzzing oriental night market’ – I guess that means the 300-seater downstairs is for those looking for something a little more intimate, then?
Excuse my sarcasm, but I have to question whether an eatery of this size can actually be called a restaurant – it sounds more like a food hall with a selection of different stands to visit.
But, while this kind of dining isn’t to my, ahem, taste, there’s far more to my mockery than simply the lack of atmosphere. Diners will pay between £6.99 and £15.99, depending on the day and time, to eat as much as they can or care to. While some may view this as a great bargain, I can only envisage hundreds of people scoffing as much as possible in order to feel like they’ve had their money’s worth.
And the only way to make this kind of venture profitable is to keep costs low and buy the cheapest, lowest-quality ingredients – much of which will no doubt be wasted. After all, there’s no telling how many customers will come through the doors or what they’ll choose to eat.
Don’t drive out smaller businesses
Since we’re talking in scale here, my biggest concern has to be the effect this will have on smaller, local businesses. Just as the likes of Westfield have muscled in on smaller retailers, these super restaurants can’t fail to overpower nearby eateries.
Navina Bartlett is a member of the StrEAT Food Collective, a group of vendors who cook and sell on a street. She fears that this kind of restaurant could impact business in St Nicholas Market – a market packed with food stalls and cafes just five minutes’ walk away:
‘Lots of independent traders around here may struggle to compete with something like this. The scale of it is just frightening,’ said told the Guardian.
I agree. This kind of scale just breeds waste, greed and commercialism and the more we get used to shopping and eating on this scale, the more brainwashed we become, making it harder and scarier to support smaller independents.
Is bigger better? Not to me, no.
Would you eat in a 'super restaurant'?
No way (67%, 90 Votes)
Occasionally, depending on my mood (21%, 28 Votes)
Yes, bring it on! (13%, 17 Votes)
Total Voters: 136