‘Restaurants will never be the same. They shouldn’t be,’ says Peter Hoffman

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“It wasn’t a unilateral transaction,” says Peter Hoffman of the regulars of his neighborhood restaurants, where there was give and take between staff and guests. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Between 1990 and 2016, Peter Hoffman operated three restaurants in New York City. Since he’s closed the restaurants, he’s had time to reflect on what needs to change and what else needs to be done. He worked to build community between staff and diners at his eateries, desiring places “that not only fed calories but fed ideas.” Hoffman says the restaurant “equation” is no longer working and the pandemic laid that out. From the disparity of wages to the cost of good ingredients, he says, “Diners need to learn to spend more on dinner.” Restaurants are also responsible for explaining those higher costs. His memoir is “What’s Good? A Memoir in Fourteen Ingredients.”


In his memoir “What’s Good?” Peter Hoffman asserts that the broken restaurant industry needs diners to step up to fix it. Photo courtesy of Abrams Press.

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Evan Kleiman