Restaurant Annoyances (Part I)

Random Restaurant Annoyances

READ GUESTS BEFORE REMOVING PLATES…When the servers remove plates too quickly from the table, especially among groups of 4 or more. You may still have 1 or 2 individuals who are eating and may feel guilty that they are the only ones with food remaining on their plate.

11dHOW WILL RESTAURANT SPECIALS BE HANDLED? When the server goes through the evening specials very quickly and invariably, if you’re honest, you may have missed one or two specials or need clarification. If you really care, you may have the server repeat one or two of the specials. Also, provide some prices so the customers know how much the full slab of ribs are or what is the price of the Superior whitefish or sea bass. There are some customers who are visual individuals who would like them written down to help them decide.

ENOUGH ALREADY…Where you have these servers who are buzzing around the restaurant and whose sole job is to ensure everyone’s glass is filled with water. It’s nice they are being service oriented, but if your glass is half full or more and it’s towards the end of the meal, continuing to fill the glass may be more bothersome and less necessary.

11cART & SCIENCE WHEN SERVING VARIOUS DISHES…Bring the entrees out while several members at your table are still enjoying soup or salad. There should be a coordinated activity to ensure table guest can relax and enjoy their soup or salad with their entrée. Guests should not feel hurried with their minestrone soup or Caesar salad because you just seen your entrees appear or the waiter tells you they are forthcoming. Many restaurant guests want to enjoy their appetizer or other course and feel they are valued guests.

INCLUDE ALL WINE AND COCKTAIL PRICES ON DRINK MENU…Bring out the drink menu without any prices. At a restaurant with $12-25 entrees, a house red wine should not cost $12-15. If someone is new to your restaurant and they don’t know the drink prices and ultimately may experience “sticker shock” with the price, that experience may alienate them from visiting again. If you are new to the restaurant and you have a good idea of all wine and cocktails prices and decide to forgo a drink, your experience may be quite different and even if you think the drink prices are overpriced, you’re not necessarily alienated from visiting again.

restaurantsDRINK MENUS SHOULD INCLUDE ALL ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES…There’s a restaurant near our house in Libertyville (Jimmy’s Charhouse) that serves very delicious chicken, seafood and steak options. However, they don’t include a beer listing with prices on their drink menu. In my mind, why just include wine, and cocktails? It’s less about the price and more about the selection. In addition, a choice I make about beer is often dependent if it’s on tap or comes in a can or bottle. In other words, taste can come into play as well as freshness. Last time I visited Jimmy’s I asked about the beer selection and she pointed across the bar to a beer listing – a listing I could hardly see (with dimmed bar lighting). Anyway, some restaurant clientele are visual people — they’d like to see and read the details all on one drink menu. 

BE TRANSPARENT WHEN IT COMES TO ANCHOVIES AND CAESAR SALADS…Restaurants that serve Caesar salads need to be transparent when it comes to anchovies added to the salad. My children often enjoy Caesar salads although there have been a few occasions where anchovies were included unbeknownst to us. With their distaste of seafood, this is a big deal. One more thing about anchovies and Caesar salad. Sometimes, there are anchovies included in the salad dressing. Again, restaurants should be transparent and specific if anchovies are in any way part of their Caesar salad.

Kevin Schwarm

I have over 25 years of professional experience in business, information technology (IT), and customer service. Industry experience in retail, medical insurance, higher education, non-profit, financial services, and property and casualty insurance. Customer focused professional interested in providing value (save time, money and aggravation) by evaluating and analyzing information, services and products with a unique perspective.

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