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Why Is Quality Bread Service Disappearing?

Lately when I call restaurants for reservations, I’ve started asking, “Do you serve bread?” Five years ago it would have been a ridiculous question, but in an effort to cut costs, fewer places are putting the staff of life on tables to begin meals. When I first ate at the Lawrence in Midtown earlier this year, for example, my waiter honked, “We don’t offer bread service.” When I pointed out that some of the dish descriptions included homemade croutons, a cook sent a piece of grilled bread my way and the restaurant charged me a dollar for it.

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