Sunday, May 28, 2023

The “what, when and where” to avoid in the restaurant industry

So, it’s date night and you and your spouse are looking for a place to go for dinner. If your relationship is anything like mine one person starts the conversation by asking the other where they want to go. The other person will likely respond by insisting that they want to go anywhere that their spouse chooses. Of course, this will probably result in an endless circle of conversation. But, is there a way to actually narrow down the choices and maybe even avoid ruining your date night with more than gentle bickering? Let’s find out!

What to avoid at a restaurant

Once you have chosen which restaurant to dine in, it is important to keep an eye out for things that you should beware of. For example, most of us are familiar with the ​“specials” ​ that the waiter offers. They are generally a select few dishes that the chef has chosen to be added to the regular menu for a very limited time, typically for one or two nights. Ever wonder why this is? Some chefs will use this as an opportunity to sell-off food that is hovering on their expiration date. They may repurpose the ingredients by adding them to pasta, soup, or stew dishes. These dishes are certainly “special”, just special leftovers. In this day and age, it is essential to recycle rather than add waste but, there is some uncertainty in exactly how “special” the recycled ingredients are.


When to avoid a restaurant

So, what should you do if your desired date night happens to be a holiday? For example, one very common day of the year that people tend to eat out is Valentine’s Day. The majority of couples will use this occasion to make reservations at a nice restaurant, dress up and rekindle their dimming flame. However, holiday dining can be quite crowded. This is especially true if there are a limited number of quality restaurants that suit the occasion. In fact, wait staff can be in a hurry to serve their tables and increase turnover time. When they are under this type of pressure, they may provide snarky service or even become difficult to deal with. Their frustration could easily ruin your attempt at a romantic celebratory dinner out. Holiday dining can also become quite expensive. Couples may overcompensate on these occasions by overspending simply because it is a holiday.


Where to avoid

In addition to what you shouldn’t order and when you should dine out, you also should beware of certain places that you should simply avoid eating at all together. How can you tell what establishments are worth eating at? Well, the first thing to do is check the reviews! Reviews for nearly any restaurant are found online and can help mold your opinion of a restaurant before you visit it. While they can be very helpful, some restaurant owners become displeased when negative reviews are left. The owners at El Cubilete in Niagara Falls, NY have gone so far as to request their potential customers ignore the bad reviews that are posted about them. I, personally, would add this to the reasons to avoid a restaurant. If owners feel they need to beg for patrons then they don’t need to be open. Finally, if you do decide to make the trip to a restaurant for a meal, take a look around. If the tables, floors, bathrooms and other public areas are dirty or unkempt then the kitchen is likely following trend.


Dining out, whether for date night or any occasion is special and shouldn’t be ruined by things like bad food, bad service or an all-around disheveled restaurant.

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Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!


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