Even though we love trying out new restaurants, there are a few places that you keep going back to no matter how many years go by. These restaurants are the ones you turn to when you’ve had a bad day, when you want to take comfort in familiarity and when you are dining out to celebrate special occasions.
What is it about these places that make us want to go back? Is it the trust they’ve worked hard to earn? Is it their mind blowing food? We’ve put together a list of all it takes for a restaurant to win our loyalty and trust, read on to know more.
Food taste, flavor and quality is of UTMOST importance, obviously
If you are a foodie, it doesn’t matter where the restaurant is or even how comfortable it is as long as the taste of the food is mind-blowing. For example: No matter how noisy or busy Double Roti gets on an average day, I would still go there just for their mouth-watering burgers. Sometimes, it doesn’t even have to be a fully functioning restaurant; I would rather stand and eat hot and crispy Ghee Podi Dosais at Ravi Anna Kadai (Beside Natesan Park) rather than sitting down for a dosa at Saravana Bhavan.
Waiters who are friendly not over-friendly
I think there’s a thin line between being friendly and being over-friendly. Some waiters tend to become over-friendly; they encroach upon your space and keep interrupting your time with your loved ones. Don’t get me wrong, maybe on days we’re dining alone we won’t really mind but when we’re with family or friends or we just want some peace and quiet it can be a total downer.
Checking on our food and checking to see if we’re comfortable is ok but talking to us about how big an Ajith fan he is? Not really ok! (Yes, it really did happen to me once and no, I’m not kidding).
To be able to have a good conversation
One of the things I love about Brew Room is the fact that you can sit back and have a good conversation with a friend over coffee and they won’t hint you to leave. In some places, especially if they’re having a busy day, they rush you, or bring your entrees and dessert together just so that you finish your meal quickly. This can be really annoying especially if you’re shelling out at least a thousand bucks. Spending an hour or two over a meal, shouldn’t be that much of a problem, no?
Cleanliness, cleanliness, CLEANLINESS!
Maybe even reiterate the word cleanliness, a couple of times more. In my recent visit to a South Indian Veg hub, there was Sambar spilt all over the floor and they didn’t bother to clean it up even after we told them. I love their food, but the affinity I have for the place has gone down a bit. I agree restaurants have their bad days too. But I feel unless they have a clean table, clean restrooms and clean surroundings you might not really want to go back very often.
Offering slight customization
This definitely does not mean having a build-your-own-meal option, instead offering slight alternations to dishes in the menu would go a long way. For example, if you want to have pasta with pesto and you are given the option to choose the kind of pasta you want, it elevates the experience.
If you are staying at Justa in Bangalore, the kind of customization they offer is just amazing, I wanted Aglio Olio and it wasn’t on their menu, the Chef actually came up to my room to check how exactly I wanted it and he also welcomed me to their kitchen so that I can watch them make it. This is just taking the customer experience to a whole new level.
A shorter, more specific menu
A restaurateur who has been in business for a few years knows what sells at his restaurant and what doesn’t, so instead of having a menu with a hundred options, cutting it down to whatever sells best will make it easier to choose. Shorter menus are also more memorable, it is easier to remember what you like best at a particular place and why.
I would opt for special meals at Sarvana Bhavan rather than having one of the hundred North Indian gravies they’ve listed. So why not cut down the number of North Indian dishes if it means there could be more focus on the South Indian best sellers.
Waiters who know the menu enough to make suggestions
Waiters who know the menu inside out always make great suggestions. If you’re ever visiting Little Italy, and you see Mr.Pritam around, you can tell him what you’re looking to have and he’ll make perfect suggestions. Some of the best Italian dishes I’ve had are his suggestions. When waiters or managers know their menu, you can never go wrong with your order and that’s definitely going to make you want to come back.
Striking a balance between healthy and tiny portions
Having too much or too little of the dish you’ve ordered could disappoint you. Imagine having 70th bite of the same dish or even worse, imagine having just enough for two bites. Instead, the portion can customized based on the number of people at the table. Half portions or even asking if they could cut down on the portion if it’s an order for two will make the whole experience more pleasurable.
Mainland China offers half portions for most of the dishes on their menu; this is a great option for couples and even for groups of people who want to try more number of dishes from the menu.
A peaceful ambiance
This doesn’t mean I hate it when they play music. I feel this has to do with how the tables are set up. In some places, the tables tend to be too close to each other. There is constant disturbance from both the tables and if you’re dining in on a weekend you might get really irritated. This is one of the main reasons why restaurants with partial booths are so popular. You can have a peaceful conversation without feeling cramped or claustrophobic. So, the space between tables can make or break your experience.
When you see the food you’ve ordered coming towards your table, you feel an overwhelming sense of child-like excitement. That’s the beauty of good food; it can make you feel like a child all over again. So when restaurateurs pay attention to detailing and include little things that the others in the market don’t have, the child in us will jump at the opportunity to go back to that place again.
The wet tissue at Little Italy is a star attraction among many of the people I know. They add water to a tablet shaped compressed towel and it transforms into a moist towelette. Also, some of the Chinese restaurants in Chennai (Including Chin Chin at The Residency) serve fortune cookies. These are little things, but they go a long way to make our meal a memorable one.
So the next time you’re in the mood to find a memorable place to dine in, wouldn’t it be great to know the best of a restaurant’s offerings so you can never go wrong with your order?
About Relishious:Relishious, the App that will help you look up signatures at restaurants around the city. Wait no more. Explore curations of foods that you can try when you dine out next. Download App . This blog is all about good food and it’s related experiences. You’d find just about everything that’s got something to do with good food!