I went to a relatively new restaurant in the area. I say relatively because there were others restaurants in the chain in my state, but this is the first in my area. I am not sure if I will go back to it.
It was not because the food was not good. Well, not entirely. I thought the food was okay, but I have had better in other restaurants, and have seen better as well.
My biggest problem was with the order itself. There were three of us in the party. Of the three orders, two of them were wrong. One of those orders needed to be remade completely… which happened to be my order. So I had to sit and wait while the rest of my party was able to eat. Yes, we did receive an apology from the manager, but it still did not make much of a difference when I received my meal after the rest of my group had already eaten half of theirs. Then, on top of all of that, it was still incomplete.
As I mentioned, we did receive an apology, but that was it. Granted, nowhere is there a restaurant customers’ Bill of Rights. And, frankly, I’ve seen some restaurant customers who really need a swift kick. But, I have been to other restaurants that seem to go the extra mile. There was one restaurant who gave us one of our meals free because the steak was cooked medium instead of medium rare… without any complaint about it. Heck, if the manager had not said anything, we would not have even known.
Over the years, we have had our fair share of good meals and, for lack of a better phrase, problem meals. We had one meal at a casual dining chain that took a couple of hours to bring the entrees out. They offered us free dessert… which took another hour to be brought to our table. But we did go back. We have also had one restaurant lose our order and not say anything about it for over an hour. That time was so bad that I had to cancel my order because I had to go to work. We never went back there… and they are now closed. And we had another national chain mess up our orders on multiple occasions (including bringing out a sandwich which was not what was ordered, bringing it back, then bringing out another sandwich which was till not what we had ordered).
The restaurant business is tough. I do recognize that. Still, as a restaurant owner or manager, you do need to set yourself apart from your competitors, stand out to make customers say, “Yeah, let’s go back there.” The best way to do that is make the food on your menu the best you can. The worst way it to make very bad mistakes and not have stand out food.