Survey supports later hours — for some

Some neighbors wish these suns on the wall at the new El Quetzal location would shine later in the evening. Photo by Wendi.
by Jake London

The local restaurant hours survey mentioned in the Beacon Hill Blog a few days ago has now closed.

It turns out that the free version of Survey Monkey only allows you to see the results of the first 100 respondents to a survey. So far, 110 people have responded. I’m not prepared to buy the paid Survey Monkey service for this particular exercise, so we’ll have to call it good with the first 100 responses that were received. It’s not perfect, I know, but it still seems like a large enough sample to get a picture of how people in the neighborhood are feeling about later hours at El Quetzal, Victrola, and Kusina Filipina.

My take away from the numbers (which are below) is that there is significant support for El Quetzal to be open later in the evenings. Out of the 100 respondents below, 82 of them strongly agreed or agreed that they would patronize El Quetzal more often in the evening if it stayed open at least an hour later.

There was less consensus among respondents about whether later hours would increase their evening patronage of Victrola and Kusina Filipina: 41% strongly agreed or agreed that they’d patronize Victrola more often in the evening if it stayed open later. About the same number of people felt similarly about Kusina Filipina (40.4%).

A lot more people were neutral about Victrola and Kusina Filipina than they were about El Quetzal. I’m not sure of the best way to read those responses. It seems like maybe they are saying that they aren’t sure whether later hours would affect their evening patronage of these places, but they remain open to the possibility that later hours could make a difference in their behavior.

Conversely, respondents who disagreed or strongly disagreed (and there were some of these folks) seem to be saying that they know pretty clearly that changes in closing times will not affect their behavior, as far as evening patronage of these businesses goes.

Anyway, enough commentary. Here are the questions and the responses.

1. If El Quetzal Mexican Restaurant in Beacon Hill was open until 9pm (or
later) each night, I would patronize it for dinner or drinks more often
than I currently do.

Response Percent Response Count
Strongly Agree 43% 43
Agree 39% 39
Neutral 10% 10
Disagree 4.0% 4
Strongly Disagree 4% 4

answered question: 100
skipped question: 0

2. If the Beacon Hill Victrola location was open until 9pm (or later) each
night, I would patronize it during evening hours more often than I
currently do.

Response Percent Response Count
Strongly Agree 18.2% 18
Agree 23.2% 23
Neutral 29.3% 29
Disagree 21.2% 21
Strongly Disagree 8.1% 8

answered question: 99
skipped question: 1

3. If Kusina Filipina Restaurant in Beacon Hill was open until 9pm (or
later) each night, I would patronize it for dinner more often than I
currently do.

Response Percent Response Count
Strongly Agree 8.1% 8
Agree 32.3% 32
Neutral 38.4% 38
Disagree 13.1% 13
Strongly Disagree 8.1% 8

answered question: 99
skipped question: 1

(Thanks to Jake for creating this survey and sending us this write-up of the results. –Ed.)

9 thoughts on “Survey supports later hours — for some”

  1. It would have been interesting if there was sort of a follow up question for each to cover the “why” aspect. For example, for me, I’d have three different responses for the three locations, for three different reasons:

    With El Quetzal, my wife and I really enjoy going there, so it’s likely we’d patronize it more, if it was open later.

    With Victrola, we like it, but neither of us drink coffee after noon, so it’s unlikely we’d go more.

    And with Kusina Filipina, we’ve just never eaten there (which, really, we should try to remedy), so its uncertain if later hours would change anything for us.

  2. I didn’t vote, because I didn’t care about these 3 places particularly. I haven’t been to any of them yet. I work late, and the only place I can go for a beer late at night is Baja Bistro. It would be nice to have a choice. And perhaps food, because their kitchen closes at 10:00pm. So yes on all 3, just to move Beacon Hill into a place people might want to be. (ftr, I’m single, without children and I usually head to Capitol Hill to spend my allotted going-out money)

  3. Thank you for addressing this topic.

    For me, the bottom line is the need for a restaurant, and the space, to be open late on the hill for folks to meet and bring their friends.

    El Quetzal, I am talking to you. We stopped by on Friday night with another couple which we had been bragging about how great you are only to walk up as the “open” sign went out. Any “urban” eating establishment that is serious about serving dinner cannot close at 8pm on a Friday night, I am sorry. I am sure there where many operational reasons why you closed at 8pm, but now since you expand your table tops its time to expand your hours. I say this with love and kindness, because if you don’t capture this business opportunity someone else will, quickly. As much as I would like an “ale house” on the hill, I would prefer to see a diverse spectrum of businesses that capture the ale house crowd.

    That being said, all this reflects a change in the neighborhood, which brings with it resistance. Its not easy for a small business to take risks, but in this case El Quetzal, we got your back.

  4. Is it really necessary for ALL restaurants/businesses on BH to be open that late? Is there not room for a good family-run business with “normal” hours, including lunch? Is the expectation that they just shift their hours later, ditching the lunch crowd like Bar del Corso (as of now, anyway)? There are no less than 7 restaurants/bars open later than El Quetzal within walking distance or a short bike/car trip, and all of them serve alcohol. Is the survey really about a lack of later options within the neighborhood or is it just singling out a couple businesses to tweak their hours because they don’t match a particular schedule?

  5. @Chris: I made the survey. It is not about a lack of later options in the neighborhood generally (although personally I do wish there were a few more of those–what are the 7 places you reference in your post?). The survey is simply about whether later closing hours would affect people’s patronage of the businesses surveyed.

    I really like the food and ambiance at EQ a lot, but I actually eat there very infrequently, even though it is the closest restaurant to my house. Why? The early closing time makes it hard for me to get in there regularly for dinner. I was curious whether I was the only one who felt this way. The survey indicates I’m not alone.

    I suspect plenty of people don’t get home from work until 6:30pm or later, because they have a long commute home, both parents work and they must pick up kids from daycare, etc. By the time these people get it together to go out and eat dinner, it can be after 7:15pm. This leaves very little time to get into a place like EQ, where they seem to spend the last half hour they are open breaking down and cleaning up.

    We went in there the other night at 7:25pm and they already had the chairs on most of the tables. At first, we thought they were already closed. If that was happening an hour later, I suspect it would affect a lot less people and lead to more business.

    At a certain point, the early closing time starts be kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy, where people just don’t bother coming in after 7:15 or so, because the experience of being there in the last half-hour, as they put up the chairs, get out the bleach bucket, etc., isn’t that great, even though the food is still great.

    My hope is that a 9pm closing time would create a second “wave” of customers once people realize they can have a good dining experience in there after 7:30.

    In my opinion, family-owned businesses can keep whatever hours they want to keep if it’s working for them. That being said, the EQ guy expanded into the bigger space, put in the bar, etc. Presumably he did that because he thought it would help him to generate more customer volume and make more money.

    If that’s the goal, the survey indicates that he may be leaving money on the table by closing at 8pm.

    Conversely, the survey results for Victrola and Kusina Filipina indicate that the hours set by those businesses are probably already in pretty good sync with neighborhood demand.

  6. @Chris: Also, why does being open until 9pm necessarily mean that EQ would have to stop serving lunch? Most places in Seattle that serve dinner are open until 9pm. A lot of these places also serve lunch. Plenty of these places are also family-owned and run. Plenty of Asian spots in the I.D. appear to be family run. But they manage to serve lunch and also serve dinner until 9pm (or much later). World Pizza, that just opened in the ID is also family run. They are open from 9am to 9pm t-sat. Why? Probably because they’re trying not to leave any money on the table.

    It would not surprise me if Bar Del Corso starts being open during the day too, once they get things dialed in. I guess we’ll see what happens.

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