For a foodie, exploring new cuisine is a fun experience. And since not every foodie is a great chef to attempt every cuisine at home, exploring new cuisine means exploring new restaurants as well. The experience at restaurants is not dependent wholly on the cuisine alone. It would also be dependent on a few factors. A few of those X-Factors, other than the quality of food are…
1. Ambience: Ambience varies with each restaurant, but depending on the type of restaurant, I feel this plays a big part. If I go to a fine dining restaurant, I’d expect to see a good space between tables, the furniture and lighting matching each other, maybe some light music to put the customers at ease etc. If the restaurant is one that is rustic, like a Darshini restaurant, I think the ambience would definitely be louder, with the customers and the staff very involved and running around in controlled chaos. These won’t particularly have spaced-out arrangements etc. since they cater to more foot traffic than a fine dining restaurant might.
2. Presentation: Another factor that makes food seem more enjoyable is presentation. They say that we eat with our eyes first, so a good looking dish would make a very strong impression on the one who has ordered it. Again, when it comes to fine dining, it would be dependent on the cutlery and the dish of course. A salad where the green color pops out and you see each element of the dish would make a good impression. If it’s a kabab, the chutney or the dip in smaller containers to the side of the kabab, that might look nice. In a rustic restaurant, I think the customer expects that dish to look simple yet appealing. And yes, the proportion of the food to the side of the plate should look nice and filling as well.
3. Quality of the Staff: This is one that is more oriented toward fine dining restaurants, I think. It feels really nice when the staff comes to the customer and inquires if everything is enjoyable, or if they can do something to make the experience more enjoyable. It is also very important that they do their best to make sure the food comes out on time, and not make the customer, who is already hungry, wait for long. Even when the food does take longer to come, it is important that they do not be rude to the customer. I’ve had experiences where the waiter rudely banged the dish on the table and went away after it was served when we complained.
4. Cleanliness: This is almost certain in most fine dining restaurants, but when it comes to those rustic restaurants, I feel this makes a difference. A clean table is more inviting to a customer. And it is quite important that the cleaning staff don’t come to wipe the table as we’re eating, and then just do it without even asking. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
5. Availability: Again, this is almost certain in most restaurants, be it fine dining or rustic, but it is good if the dish that is on the menu is available when you order. When I went to a restaurant recently, the first three dishes that my friend and I ordered were not there. It leaves the menu that much empty of choice, especially if the customer is already restricted because of some of their personal food choices.
These are few X-factors OTHER THAN the quality of food, that I feel make a difference when at a restaurant. Do you have any other that you feel makes an impact on you as a customer?
28 – Apr – 2016