Menus of old

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 18, 2010

From a collection of old menus from Colorado, the 1892 menu from a Denver restaurant called The Boston Bakery and Lunch Room (For Ladies and Gents).

1892 Menu

Porterhouse steak with mushrooms: 70 cents. This particular menu also contains a sort of customer bill of rights: an explanation of how waiters should treat customers and how the restaurant will catch you if you try to skip out on your check.

Now, we want your trade, and we do not care whether your check is 5¢ or $5; you will be rightly treated and correctly waited upon, or we will know the reason why, if you will only report any neglect to the head waiter or to us before leaving your seat.

The waiters are instructed to be civil and polite to every one, whether they are so to them or not, for even should the customer use bad manners, the waiter must not.

Have no conversation with the customer, except what is strictly necessary.

Give everyone a napkin who asks for it.

p>Give each one a glass of water as soon as seated.

Be as quick and quiet as possible.

Place the orders down quietly; don't slam them down.

Give each customer a check as son as you serve the order and see that it is kept in sight. Very few beats come in here, but experience has taught us that there are some. We will give any waiter $2.00 who will give us information that will enable us or the head waiter to detect any one in the act of Check Beating.

We want to call the customer's attention to the fact that when we are looking at your checks and orders, it is as much to see that you are rightly served and not over-checked as that your not under-checked. Most would understand this but some might not.

See also the NYPL menu collection. (thx, micah)