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Restaur-Rant Week Redux: One Last Rant and Some Rookie Mistakes

Posted by CMH Gourmand on March 5, 2013

Loose ends from the rant week series. I found a note in my iPhone from months ago that was long forgotten but still warrants discussion.

On a final, final note. Butter. Butter is the most basic of food stuffs. It is often wasted on the table, which brings me great sadness. That being said a good restaurant should have great butter and a bad restaurant should have good butter. Most importantly, if butter is offered, it should be served at a temperature that would allow it to be spread and enjoyed. It should not be as hard as a rock.

Bread: One cannot eat a great or good sandwich with bad bread. But, one could have a an OK sandwich with good bread and mediocre ingredients. If bread is to be served in an establishment, please make sure it is good and fresh so that it will not be wasted and thrown away. To avoid waste, ask the diner if they would like bread instead dumping it as a peace-offering, the provide the sense of value or to fill time between beverage service and the order. If the bread offered does not suck, it will disappear. The best bread service in town is at Deepwood – a small serving of a variety of breads with smoked salt butter that is ready to spread. The worst bread service – a cheap, airy, generic roll that is still hard from the freezer. Don’t bother to waste your 9 cents to serve me bread I won’t touch.

The Hall of Fame Lame
I have noticed some restaurants that proudly display a review or article about the business from the 1990’s. If no one has written about your business again in the last 5 years or longer… is often best to not point that out by keeping the dusty, yellowing, faded review on the wall. Place it in the office and treasure it but don’t leaving it hanging out there as a reminder of days gone by.

Facebook and Yelp Stickers
Why would a business have a Facebook sticker that does not list the business Facebook address?. “Find Us on Facebook!” GOOD LUCK on that search!! As for Yelp, it you post the sticker on the door as a reminder for people to write about you – be prepared to graciously deal with the good and the bad, you asked for it.

Credit Cards, Debit Cards do Upset Us
It costs a business more money to do a credit or debit card transaction with a customer. For food businesses with small margins, the transaction fees takes a big bite into their profits. If a small mom and pop place wants to request a minimum purchase for a credit or debit card – I am fine with that. Cash may be an inconvenience in today’s world but it does still exist.

Finally. Music on restaurant web sites. This is a cardinal sin. Consider if you will where people scout out their meal plans. At work: no one wants to advertise that they are goofing off with a burst of Muzak. On the phone: same as above but consider band width baby, a music files takes a while to load. If a diner is checking out a restaurant on their phone, they are most likely on the run and mobile and doesn’t have a nano-second to spare. On the off-chance that you can give me a good reason to include music on a restaurant web site then let us please ensure the following: 1) The music burst will last 10 seconds or less 2) It will not repeat or recycle 3) There will be a clear and easy to access off or skip button 4) It will be related to the restaurant in some significant manner – an age-old jingle, something written by a customer or the owner’s nephew….it should have some true meaning or it becomes more than meaningless.

3 Responses to “Restaur-Rant Week Redux: One Last Rant and Some Rookie Mistakes”

  1. As I read this, so many specific examples ran through my mind.

  2. Cindy L said

    Oh, yes, especially the last one!

  3. Norman said

    Nice posts, Jim. So very true in so many points. On story you might like. I was at a Bordeaux tasting in Washington, D.C long ago and was chatting with the Post’s restaurant critic (who was supposedly there incognito but, as with critics everywhere, everyone knew her). During our chat I asked her how she chose her dining companions when vetting a restaurant. She said, ” The first time I choose them by how interesting I think they will be. But if they eat bread before the food comes I never ask them back. If they are dulling their appetite and taste buds with bread and some spread, they cannot be serious about judging the food.” That struck me as very sensible and something I had not thought about. As for me, I love good bread, so I always am glad to have it. Keep up the good work. Always love to see a post.

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