Letters from the Issue of October 21-27, 2002

Porn merchants, freedom fighters, park advocates, and your waitress Tiffany

The animal cruelty was on the part of agency persons who knowingly allowed their panther to continue its killing of penned and defenseless animals. They also knowingly left their injured panther in the woods when it badly needed veterinary treatment. Accusing me of animal cruelty is an obvious attempt to distract public awareness from the failures of their programs.

Jan Jacobson, director

Everglades Institute

Ochopee, Florida Editor's note: Criminal charges have been filed against Jack Shealy in the tethered-goat incident. See The Bitch, page 13.

If Tiffany Is Your Waitress, Don't Listen to Her

Miami Spice is a boon, not a boondoggle: The anonymous waitress who wrote a letter to the editor ("I'm Tiffany and I'll Be Your Waitress Tonight," October 7) does not speak for every manager, wait staff, or chef of the restaurants participating in Miami Spice. I am the general manager of Tuscan Steak on South Beach, which is the restaurant that put the Miami Spice program together, along with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and American Express.

We are proud not only of the growth of the program but also the way the restaurant and dining community has come to embrace Miami Spice. Three years ago Tuscan Steak did approximately 750 covers on the Spice program. This year we have done more than 3600 Miami Spice covers. Our staff has supported the program because they are making the same amount of tips they make in season.

There are several reasons why this program was put together. The first was for higher-end restaurants to unite and help generate business and excitement about Miami and its culinary scene. Second, to attract patrons to a restaurant they previously felt was too expensive and allow them to enjoy the food, service, and atmosphere. Third, to attract new customers who (hopefully) will enjoy their experience so much they'll return even when the program is not offered. Fourth, it is a great way to keep your restaurant busy and allow your staff to make money during a period when everyone complains there is no business. Even my chef, Barbara Scott, has embraced the program. The slight rise in food cost is offset by increased revenue for the bottom line. The back of the house staff is happy because their hours, usually cut during slower summer months, are not cut because of the increase in business.

My advice to "Tiffany" is to champion the program and use it to her advantage. I guarantee that not only will her restaurant be busier than usual, but she'll make money during the slow summer months.

Steven H. Haas

South Beach

ERRATUM

In last week's "Night & Day," a photograph was misidentified. Part of the exhibit "Giving Torture a Face," on display at 139 NE 39th St. in the Design District, the photograph was taken by Evelyn Posada and is titled Savannah.

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