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Gray Kunz Finds a Sweet New Business Model

You'd be happy too, anticipating these profit margins. Photo: Patrick McMullan

Gray Kunz’s lavish dining space Grayz — at one time thought aborted — is back on again, this press release trumpets. Set in the former Rockefeller mansion, which was previously occupied by Aquavit, Grayz will be devoted to corporate catering and private dining events, but there will also be a big lounge area where the chef will be serving cocktails and “finger foods.” “The layout of the space on two different levels inspired me,” Kunz tells us. “When I thought about midtown, I realized there were too few private party spaces and even fewer great cocktail lounges.” Restaurant consultant Michael Whiteman sees a more practical advantage. “Private catering is a lot more profitable,” he tells us. “You can charge more per person than you would in a restaurant, and there’s very little waste because you know just how many people are coming.” And those finger foods? “They sell a higher proportion of alcohol, and they are a lot easier to plate and prepare than high-end composed dishes.”
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