Foodie Articles

Don’t Settle for Mediocrity at Restaurants (or Don’t Feed the Bears)

How often have you gone to a restaurant and were unsatisfied? Did you speak with management about your concerns? Or did you just say to yourself “I won’t be back here anytime soon”?

I think most diners tend to vote with their pocketbook. If fail to be satisfied, we fail to return. In essence though, aren’t we just “feeding the bears”? By not correcting poor performance, we are in fact condoning it. The “bears” continue to be “fed” because new customers come along and either they discover what you already have or they settle for mediocrity.

Eating is sustenance. It is essential to life. Everyone has to eat. Not everyone though, chooses to eat well. As diners, when we go into a restaurant we expect to be amazed! We expect to have a dining experience that we could not provide ourselves at home. If you are not thinking along these lines, I would encourage you to explore these ideas with me. If you’re dining at restaurant that are “just OK”, then find restaurants that ARE amazing!

Fox News reported in 2015, that for the first time ever Americans spend more dining out than they do buying groceries. If your lifestyle falls into this category, you should demand that your meals rise above mediocrity. Why settle?

Now, dear readers, I do not mean that we become a pain in the jeans each time with dine at a restaurant. My point is simple – when you experience a clearly dissatisfying dining experience we vow to discuss that with our server or their manager prior to leaving. A common adage is this – we can’t fix it if we don’t know its broken. Tell them what part of the process is broken that prevented you from having an exceptional meal! If you are non-confrontational, simply write a letter or email to the restaurant. Believe me, they will be more than happy to receive the feedback!

Melanie and Randy Cooper, Atlanta-Food-Critic.com
Melanie and Randy Cooper, Atlanta-Food-Critic.com

An incident occurred when Melanie and I were dining just the other night. We weren’t reviewing the restaurant, it was just a simple place close by our home and we just didn’t want to cook that night. The server made several egregious errors and there was no way I was leaving without bringing it to the attention of management. I made it clear, I trying to get anyone into trouble and that its not the server’s fault. Clearly the server was not adequately trained so therefore its management’s fault.

We were getting ready to leave, and I told Melanie that I didn’t feel comfortable leaving without speaking to someone about it. My complaint was well received and I feel like the feedback I gave will be used in the future to better their operations. I like this place and we want to continue to dine there.

Let’s resolve not to “feed the bears”. If something is wrong, bring that to someone’s attention and correct the problem. Providing feedback in a kind manner, improves the dialog between the restaurant and their patrons and will improve the dining experience they offer for countless others. Guten appetit!

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