Author Archives: afalcono

Attractive people

In this weeks discussion, I want to go over the effectiveness of hiring only attractive servers. I noticed a common theme at a restaurant I went to this past weekend. Every single server there was an above average looking women. I thought to myself that this had to be a very smart way of producing a positive vibe in a restaurant. People will associate their positive views of the servers with the overall quality of the restaurant. If the restaurant had hired people who are not very pleasing to look at, it could potentially cause them to lose customers. Similar to what I said about having a window in the kitchen of restaurants, there is only good that can come out of hiring attractive people. Meaning that there are no drawbacks because it is a given that all people enjoy looking at attractive others. This topic can be expanded into the importance of having a visually pleasing atmosphere in a restaurant. It subliminally makes a person feel much more comfortable in eating their food their when they admire the looks of the place. I feel that this should be one of the first things a restaurant should have in mind when building their restaurant. One of the largest chains exemplifying this theory is “Hooters”. They have taken pride in this concept and incorporated it into their business model. It is safe to say that “Hooters” would be fresh out of business if it weren’t for this ingenious business model.

 

In the Kitchen

Today’s discussion will revolve around the use of a kitchen that is visible to the public. I ate at two separate chinese restaurants today and both have very good food; However, I would choose one over the other for one reason. I could see the kitchen and what was happening inside. I am not sure exactly what triggered this response in me, but I can take a stab at it. When people are able to see the kitchen, then they get a sense of comfort knowing where their food is coming from. Regardless if people have trust issues, there is no doubt in my mind that everyone enjoys the luxury of seeing exactly where their food is coming from. I feel that every restaurant should have a window looking into their kitchen. I say this not only because it is comforting to see where my food is coming from, but because it puts on the pressure on the chefs to make sure that the kitchen is a clean environment and that the food is prepared in a healthy way. As a matter of fact, I think it should be a national requirement for all restaurants to have their kitchens completely visible to the entire restaurant because there is really only benefit to come from it.

 

The Service is Key

This weekend I discovered a great way for a restaurant to lose a lot of profit regardless of how good their food is. I went to a restaurant called “Unos” this past weekend and their food was not bad at all, it was actually really well done. My only complaint I had about the restaurant from the get go was how slow the service was. It took a very long time for us to take our order, an even longer time for us to get our drinks, and an even longer time for us to get our food. It made me feel like we weren’t wanted there. Now, that alone would make me not recommend the restaurant to others or return for a while; However, that was not the main thing that would lose the restaurant money. With my meal I had ordered an appetizer that was meant to come out before my food. After receiving my entree, I grew suspicious that they had forgotten my appetizer. I decided to tell them to cancel it all together because i was already full off my entree. Now if we take what happened to me and multiplied by how ever many people had the same incident, we finds that there was a lot of money lost. This all could have been prevented with better, more attentive service.

The Food Aint Everything

In my previous post, I discussed the prices of a meal in comparison to the size of the portions served. I would like to re-address the topic of price because of an experience at a restaurant I ate at this past weekend. My experience got me really thinking about what is and what is not worth paying “a little extra” for. The restaurant I ate at was one that serves chicken wings of various flavors. Usually chicken wings are not very expensive; however, this restaurant was able to stay busy while charging relatively high amounts of money for their food. It made me wonder why. So I looked around the place and saw that the entire restaurant was fully invest in the theme of sports teams and sporting entertainment. There were many flat screen tvs and projector screens in every direction playing what ever sport you’d like! on top of that, the waiters and waitresses were all wearing jerseys. The bathrooms even had tv in them so you wouldn’t miss a second of the game. What this produced was a “fun atmosphere”. A place where you can have a good time just being present and observing your surroundings. So I came to the conclusion that money doesn’t just buy food at restaurants, but it also buys the experience. And the experience could potentially make up for bad food, and vice versa.

 

A lot For a Little

Today I would like to discuss something that has been getting on my nerves recently. I went to a very fancy restaurant with my family this past weekend and had a great experience. The service was great, the food tasted amazing and the atmosphere was very festive. There was however, one very obnoxious issue I had with the place. The portion size of their food was extremely small. To the point where an appetizer, entree, and dessert was not enough to fill me up. I am not someone who needs enormous portions to enjoy my meal, but I believe the portions were just way too small. that being said, It probably wouldn’t be such an issue if the price matched the portion, but unfortunately they did not. It was twice as expensive as any other entree I had at any other restaurant. The only reason I was willing to pay so much that evening was because a family friend was visiting and we wanted to celebrate their coming. So the question I present is if it is worth it to go to a fancy restaurant and pay the hefty dues for smaller portions, or should one just go to a different restaurant with larger portions, cheaper prices, but less formal? For me, I would choose a less formal restaurant with a more satisfying meal, but it all depends on wether you favor food or atmosphere.

 

The angery hot dog man

Today I would like to discuss my experience at a restaurant located in Berkeley California, as it was an interesting one. I was visiting my friend at the local college when we decided we would like a late night snack. We look up reviews for a restaurant that specializes in hot dogs to-go. On our way over their we were expecting your everyday late night diner with the kind service and clean & quiet atmosphere. This was because of the great, happy reviews that it had received. Well we could have not been more wrong. The man the the register had a huge walking stick and was yelling at every customer. If you weren’t ready to order he would kick them out of the line and tell them to come back later. I was absolutely shocked that this place was so popular! Yes the hot dogs were great, but no one likes to be yelled at….right? I asked the folks around if this is how the place always is and they responded, “yeah! isn’t it great?”. Dumbfounded, I came to the conclusion that the reason why this restaurant was so popular lies within last weeks post. I discussed the item of Familiarity and dependability. These people found joy in the anger of the service there because it was the atmosphere they were expecting and were familiar with at that particular hot dog joint. I’m absolutely positive that if the joint has originally been a nice sound place, then rapidly changing to the aggressive atmosphere it is today, they would lose customers because people wouldn’t expect it and might take offense to it. But because that is what they are known for, they found success.

 

Familiarity and Dependability

Today’s discussion revolves around the subject of how restaurant chains develop familiarity and dependability with their customers. People like to eat where they feel comfortable and safe, thats a given. If a restaurant fails to accomplish this, then they are going to see that they are losing customers quite fast. One very common way that I feel is the most important way to make people feel safe and comfortable is to make the restaurant familiar with the customers. Ways to accomplish this is to make the floor plans of each of the restaurants in the chain the same. If the customers can walk inside a restaurant and automatically know where the restroom is, know where the waiting room is, and know what the atmosphere is going to be like, they will feel much more content eating there. This strategy doesn’t only work in restaurants, but in grocery stores too. The most large scale example is Costco. Their warehouses are literally designed exactly the same across the nation. The products are, for the most part, the same as well. It allows customers to be very dependable on the store for their needs. The same goes for restaurants. The more customers can depend on a restaurant for their needs, the more likely it is they will choose that place over another. People feel comfortable when they are familiar with a place and can depend on its services.

 

The Extra Distance

     In today’s post I will be discussing the differences between fast food restaurants and the characteristics that make them unique. To be specific, I want to get into what makes a fast food restaurant someones “favorite”. The reason why this intrigues me is due to an event that occurred last night. I was hanging out with my friends relatively late at night, and we of course eventually got hungry and decided to go out to eat. The only restaurants that are open that late at night are fast food restaurants. The only problem was the fact that we couldn’t agree to go to the same restaurant. We all had opinions on where we should go and none of us agreed. We finally decided on in n out. Given that the options were in n out, McDonalds, or Burger King, it make me wonder why we were even arguing. All of these restaurants have the one thing that we got at In n Out…. burgers and fries. What makes the other restaurants better than the other? Why would someone prefer one set of burger and fries over the other. This led me to do a little bit more research on the topic. It turns out that In n Out puts a lot more effort into their burger and fries. This results in them being slightly more expensive, but makes them stand out in a positive way. They advertise their use of vegetable oil and the fact that their fries are made fresh right in front of you. This demonstration that they are putting in THAT much extra work is what made them our restaurant of choice. My point here is that it is not always about making the most amount of food at the cheapest price. Sometimes it pays off to go the extra distance.

Da betta Da service, Da betta Da food

In today’s blog post, I would like to discuss the importance of a good waiter and waitress team. To start off, i’ll talk about my experience at the Vietnamese “Pho” noodle house restaurant I ate at today vs the one I went to last week. The first one was located here in Stockton California. I walked in through the doors and proceeded to wait to be seated at a table. We waited… and waited… and waited. It was as if I was being ignored for a solid 15 minutes. When we finally got to our table, the waitress gave us our menus without saying a word and rushed right off. There was no apology for the wait or friendly conversation to break the ice. She did absolutely nothing to make me feel like my business was wanted, and that was just it… she made me really want to take my business elsewhere. When we finally got our food, we decided that we hadn’t had soup that good at any other restaurant. It was the best pho we had ever had. The other pho restaurant was a very different experience. When we walked in, there was someone there whose job it was to greet people and find them a table. She was very friendly and really tried to find us the best table. Once we were seated, the waitress came by and asked us how our day was going and really seemed concerned for our well being. She gave us her opinion on the best items on the menu and got our order out very quickly. The only negative aspect was the fact that the pho was not even half as good as the first restaurant; however, I would choose the second place 9 times out of 10. This is because the experience there was so much better and made me feel “at home”. It is very important that a restaurant not only strives to have amazing food, but to have amazing service as well. The first restaurant lost a value customer because of their lack of good service.

 

Outside Appearence

Today I will be discussing some new restaurants I ran into this weekend when I took my family out for dinner. One of which was a traditional seafood restaurant while the other was one where you order oysters by the shell. The seafood restaurant was very appealing from the outside because of the “under the sea” theme they had decorated the entire front patio in.  Now i’m not referring to gross stuff like fish skeletons and sea slugs… There were fish nets, fake tropical sea creatures, a synthetic river, and other aquatic related decorations. The oyster bar I talked about didn’t even put in half the effort to make their exterior look nice. What I am pointing out is the effort level into making the outside of the restaurant to make it seem appealing. The appearance of the exterior of a restaurant is very important for many reasons. One of which is the way that customers choose where they wish to eat. No one wants to eat at a restaurant that looks “sketch” or dirty and gross. If it is apparent that money has gone into making the outside look appealing, then people will associate it with the quality of the food there. An ideal example of this is the popular food chain “Fridays”. The food is sub par, but he decorations create an atmosphere that is fun to be in and brings up the mood in the restaurant.