Kamis, 10 Maret 2011

How To Pick A Good Restaurant

Visiting a good restaurant is a very popular way for many people to enjoy as part of a night out. Good food, fine wine and top quality service can all combine in a perfect way to produce an unforgettable experience that you will remember for a long time to come. However, what happens if you don't make the right choice, and the memories are bad ones rather than good ones? Well, in this short article I will explain simply how to choose a good restaurant, what to look for and what to do if your night goes wrong.

First of all, I always check online to see if the restaurant gets a mention on any of the well respected review websites that exist. It's a quick job to enter the name and do a search, and sometimes the results can be surprising. You shouldn't take everything that reviewers say at face value, after all, they could be competitors trying to trash the places reputation, or they may just be very hard to please folks, but generally, if you have more bad reviews than good, then my advice is to stay away.

My next tip is to visit the restaurant the night before. Just pop in and ask about booking a table, or ask to see their menu. Sometimes 5 minutes spent inside an establishment is enough to gauge the ambiance, the friendliness of the staff and the cleanliness.

If in doubt, ask the restaurant for a quick look at the kitchens. Many restaurants will be only too happy to let you have a quick look around, especially the ones with nothing to hide. In fact, a growing number of restaurants are starting to use open kitchens where you can watch as the food is prepared. Personally, I think this is a great idea. While in there make sure to check out how the food is stored, the overall hygiene and even try and gauge the attitude of the staff. After all, do you really want a disgruntled chef preparing your food, who knows what they might do!

Of course, if you can find a restaurant in your price range that has some sort of accreditation, say a Michelin star, then you can be pretty certain that it will be of the highest quality. However, this quality doesn't come cheap so be prepared for some open wallet surgery at the end.

Of course, even the best laid plans go wrong and you might just find that the restaurant is overbooked, the staff are having a bad day or something has gone wrong behind the scenes in what is otherwise a very good establishment. If you are unsatisfied for any reason with the quality of the food or service then don't be afraid to complain. Most good restaurants employ a maitre'd or at least a floor manager so its always best to get them involved at the outset. Don't make a scene, just be discrete but get your point over firmly and state clearly what is wrong and what you want done to rectify the situation. As a last resort refuse to pay the bill. However, I would not advise leaving the restaurant until the situation is resolved as many establishments see this as a sign of 'doing a runner' and they may call the police, especially if you haven't paid the bill.

Hopefully these small tips will help to ensure that you night out dining is a pleasant one. I have dined in restaurants all around the world, big small famous and back-street and |I can safely say that if you treat the staff with respect you will get good service and have a great night out. Oh, and don't forget to leave a tip if you are a happy customer.

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