And just like that, fine-dining restaurants may have reached a solution to their greatest quandary: How to wring more revenue from the genius of their chefs. After all, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant can only accommodate so many comers without losing quality and exclusivity — and the right to charge top dollar for a meal. Traditional brand extensions, from cookbooks to private catering, can top off the bread and butter with spoonfuls of jam. But there’s no getting away from the fragility of the business model.
As David Chang, the chef and entrepreneur behind the Momofuku chain, told me last fall,