How many times should you have to visit a restaurant to work out what it’s actually like? Perhaps I should rephrase this. How much money should you have to spend in a restaurant to work out the quality of the food and service?
Let’s take the first question. If the chef is having a bad day, they’re short on staff and really busy it might not necessarily be the most incredible olfactory experience you’ve ever had. Take the opposite scenario where everything is perfect, how come you can still leave hideously disappointed? There are so many factors involved but despite any issues the establishment is having, we the customer, should be the priority.
When I first ate in Forbury’s in Reading the food was good but the waiter ruined our experience. I went back recently and it is one of the best places I have eaten in a very long time. The atmosphere was different, the waiter wasn’t snarling like a disgruntled goat and the food was incredible. If I had based my opinion solely on my first experience I probably wouldn’t have gone back. I would have never known what I was missing.
There are only so many times you will keep trying and keep spending money in the same place before you get fed up. If the food is amazing but the service is awful do they cancel each other out and vice versa; I know I’m guilty of returning somewhere with impeccable service but average food.
The above scone was not what I would describe as exquisite; it was rather unfortunate. Wouldn’t a restaurant want to put its best foot forwards and present only the best? I shan’t say where the concrete scone was from but if you had never been before and something as basic as a scone was this disastrous you’d be unlikely to rush back and order anything else.
Whether you are ordering the eleven course tasting menu or the set lunch menu, the level of service provided should be exactly the same. Just because you are spending £15 instead of £150 the opinion you leave with should be similar. Several times I have been less important, ignored or treated unfairly because I am not spending as much as the man with the ridiculous moustache. I would have thought that the set menu was almost a teaser for what the restaurant can really offer. I know the food will be less complex and there will be less choice but that’s what I expect. If the set menu impresses you, how much more likely will you be to go back for a three course dinner?
Some of the most memorable service I have ever had has been in McDonald’s. I know I shouldn’t admit it but I like a cheeky Big Mac. Once I was in there looking for a table and a member of staff went to get me a chair while I waited next to an empty table. He then asked if I needed any sauces and cleared away my tray afterwards. McDonald’s aren’t known for their service and perhaps this is why it is so memorable. I have lost count of the number of times I have walked out of a restaurant because the staff can’t be bothered to acknowledge my presence. I don’t want a curtsey, just a simple hello. McDonald’s would have cost me less than £5. You’d be lucky to get half a starter for the same money in some of the places I’ve abandoned.
How many chances will you give a restaurant?