With elements of fast casual, casual dining and fine dining, Corridor has something for every guest who walks in the door. Having counter ordering helps the San Francisco concept—launched in June by Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group—stretch its staff in the face of a shallow labor pool. But high-end fare, table service and reservation seating in part of the space cater to those who want a full-service experience.
Staff at the host stand direct customers upstairs if they have a reservation, and send walk-in guests to the counter to order. To speed the ordering process and avoid a backup at the counter, payment is taken not at the counter, but at the table by servers. After ordering, guests are handed a beacon that tracks their location so servers know where to deliver meals.
The ordering process may say fast casual, but Corridor’s service is anything but. Once seated, customers are waited on by a server, who delivers food, refills drinks and takes additional orders. Tables are set with silverware, cloth napkins, and wine and water glasses. Customers desiring a more traditional dining experience can make a reservation for the upstairs mezzanine, which offers full service. Guests here have the same experience as those downstairs, but order from their table instead of the counter.
At Hi Neighbor’s full-service restaurants, partner Ryan Cole says most of a server’s time is spent explaining the menu, but Corridor’s counter setup lets the staff “handle a lot more people … because they don’t have to spend 15 minutes tied to one table at a time.” This allows Corridor to do more with fewer staff. Cole adds that the savings Corridor sees on labor costs allow it to offer fine dining-style meals at lower prices.