Written by: Jack Rasmussen, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
After releasing Fine Dining: The Secrets Behind the Restaurant Industry in 2022 and being invited into top-notch restaurants throughout America and Asia, I have come to realize a staggering fact: the best restaurants have two important aspects—great cocktails and great bathrooms.
As I write this, I am snacking on Chips & Cheesy Bean Dip at Trejo’s Tacos Hollywood (established in 2016) with a Mexican Mule. He serves El Jimador Tequila at his restaurant. My Mule is in a turquoise mug with the tequila brand printed in white letters across it. The bean dip is velvety with slight spiciness. The bathroom is a homey room with animated black and white depictions of Trejo within several classic stories such as Breaking Bad and Star Wars. I knew this restaurant was fine because the liquor and bathroom were on point.
Tequila is becoming one of America’s favorite liquors. As I grew up, vodka was often at the top of my friends’ party liquor list. Vodka can be universal: Vodka Sodas/Tonic, Martinis, Espresso Martinis, Apple Martinis, White Russian, Bloody Marys, Moscow Mules, Screwdrivers, etcetera. However, tequila is giving vodka a run for its money.
Tequila drinks consist of some of the best in the bartending game: Classic Margarita (on the rocks), Spicy Marg, Tequila Sunrise, Ranch Rosé, Honey Trap, Here Comes the Sun, Cinnamon & Tequila, Tequila Tonic, Añejo Manhattan, Chipilo Cocktail, Paloma, La Rosa, etcetera. Of course, most of us know about the well-known brands: Casamigos, Jose Cuervo, Don Julio, Hornitos, Cazadores, Celosa Tequila, and Patron Tequila.
But the tequila game is growing due to new brands from big names. Kevin Hart recently released Gran Coramino. Matthew McConaughey released Pantalones Organic Tequila. Dwayne Johnson is making Teremana Tequila. Even Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul released a mezcal together (slightly adjacent to true tequila) called Dos Hombres. I think the understanding is that quality restaurants’ need for alcohol will never die. I think another understanding is that when naming a tequila brand, Spanish is necessary. Almost every popular sit-down dinner restaurant I know features a cocktail list, and a drink high up on that list is almost always a margarita. A margarita is a simple drink with tequila, orange liquor (Triple Sec), and lime juice. The notorious margarita has led the way for tequila brands to infiltrate the liquor market.
From drink to dos. Most customers do not look around when they venture to the bathroom. Most fail to even take the time to acknowledge how their experience in the bathroom has changed the whole course of their meal. However, the details within the bathroom not only depict small details about the restaurant but build strongly on the aesthetic that the overall restaurant possesses. The bathroom often features louder music, brighter lights, and artwork or photos that are easier to see and appreciate. The bathrooms in restaurants are vital. I have come to recognize the restaurants that put time into developing serene bathrooms are usually the restaurants I recommend first to my friends because the food and service is also up to par. Sporty restaurant restrooms may feature signed gear or jerseys. Swanky restaurant restrooms may have powerful artwork. Sophisticated restaurant restrooms may have colorful designs or even quotes on their walls. The possibilities are endless and often offer a fun surprise for the observant foodie.
Of course, we know the best restaurant franchises in the world develop strong customer relationships, operational excellence, and marketing strategies to fulfill a strong business model, but at its most simple level, the best restaurants, in my opinion, have the best alcoholic drinks and bathrooms. Sometimes less is more. In this case, the tequila and toilet are more.
Jack Rasmussen, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Jack Rasmussen is a leader in the world's of performance science, the food industry, religion, and entertainment. Growing up in the Silicon Valley and studying Business, Cinema, and Journalism at the University of Southern California has allowed him to explore pathways forward to use art to raise the vibration and meta-awareness of people within their respective fields. He is the author of Fine Dining: The Secrets Behind the Restaurant Industry and Yin Yang: The Elusive Symbol That Explains the World. He wants to continue telling stories that inspire global citizens to explore the unexplored and become more cognizant of presence. His aim artistically: spread thought-provoking peanut butter and connective jelly.