7 Important factors to consider when choosing a restaurant
Those who dine out in restaurants are not necessarily bad cooks. Sometimes, even great chefs need a break and feel like eating food cooked by someone else. Trust us; this is true. Ask your mother and she would agree. And if you take your mother or wife, who cooks pretty well, to a restaurant, you can expect the dine-out session to be a lengthy food review process. It is not only the taste of the food or the authenticity of the preparation that defines a good restaurant; there are several other factors like hygiene, menu and the quality of the ingredients used that together create a good dining experience.
In this article, we have discussed 7 such very important factors that we feel need to be considered before choosing a restaurant for that perfect dining experience with the family on the weekend. Although some of these factors are not directly related to food quality or the taste of the food, they are important nonetheless to making the final decision. The factors are listed below,
Things to consider when choosing a restaurant
The first non-food factor that needs to be considered before choosing a restaurant is its location. The restaurant on your favorite list should neither be too far from nor too near to your home. Being too far makes the travel to the place hectic while being too near to home kills the enthusiasm. The location of your chosen restaurant should ideally be between 5-10 km from your home; not more or less than that.
Ambiance is a very important factor when choosing your favorite restaurant. Each place has a particular vibe. The décor, the furniture, the paintings on the wall and the color scheme; all have a specific energy vibration that should be compatible with yours. The music playing in the background or the kind of people dining there; everything matters when choosing the best place to dine out. After all, a restaurant is not only the place where you have food; it is also the place where important meetings are held or lucrative business deals are signed over a piece of grilled chicken or cheese sandwich. In other words, the overall ambiance of the place should appeal to your taste.
Here is the most important factor, the core of the discussion. No matter what additional activities we plan to accomplish in a restaurant, the primary objective of visiting the place is to have food. Needless to say that the taste of the food should be good. But good taste is not all. The authenticity of the cuisine the restaurant dishes out should be the other important factor to consider. The Chinese restaurant you have chosen to visit might prepare some very tasty food, but it doesn’t help if their dishes taste more Korean or Thai than Chinese. Each cuisine has its own distinct flavor with the uniqueness of the ingredients used. It doesn’t make sense if you travel an extra mile for the pork dim sum, and end up being served a jumbled-up version of some Tibetan Pork Momo. It is better to enquire beforehand if possible about the chef, his credentials and the country of his origin because your roots have a decisive influence on your tastebuds. If you are looking for the best restaurant for a corporate party in Bangalore, look for one where they have chefs from the place of origin of that particular cuisine.
Also, you have to consider the menu of the restaurant before you decide to choose it for your weekend party. A stretched-out menu is a sure-shot recipe for disaster. Check out the restaurant menu online. A restaurant with a short menu with elaborate details about the dishes is the right place to be in for lunch or dinner.
4. Quality of the Ingredients
This is another very important factor and is directly related to the point discussed above. The authenticity of the cuisine, culinary expertise and the ultimate taste of the food, all depend on this one crucial factor; the quality of the ingredients used. For example, if you have chosen a restaurant in Bangalore that has “Perfectly Baked Salmon with Lemon and Dill” on the menu, enquire, if possible, how they procure their salmon. Most of the best restaurants in the city mention their source of procurement of ingredients on their websites. The taste of the freshwater salmon would not be the same as the taste of the artificially cultured ones in the salty water tanks. The same thing happens with spices. Grade one export quality spices from Kerala would taste different from the spices procured from the local grocery stores.
5. Value for Money
All said and discussed about food quality, pricing of the food is as important as its taste and authenticity. The pricing of the food should not be a deterrent for you. Choose a restaurant whose food prices look logical and reasonable to you. Don’t choose a place that offers a double-egg omelet at Rs.500/-, simply because it doesn’t make any sense. After all, the ambiance should not be an excuse for exorbitant rates. Also, the quantity of the food served should be commensurate with the price. So, choose a restaurant that serves a reasonable quantity of food at a justified price.
6. Great Service
This single factor has the potential to make your dining experience at a restaurant absolutely fantastic or ruin it to a complete disaster. Just go through the online customer reviews of the restaurants in your city, and you would be surprised to find that most of the negative reviews posted there pertain to this one single factor; the service. The behavior and professionalism of the staff bear utmost significance in the success of a restaurant business. And most restaurants fail in this category even though they might have some great food to offer to their customers. Training is very important for the hospitality sector. Waiters should be properly trained in the art of taking orders from the customers and keeping them informed in case there is a justified delay in the preparation of the food. The restaurant manager should also be actively involved in the whole process so that no unwelcome behavior is displayed by his staff. So, choose your restaurant after going through the customer reviews on Google. One or two stray negative comments are okay, but take the restaurant off your list if you spot a negative pattern or trend about its customer service in the comments.
7. Cleanliness and Hygiene
Last but not the least; hygiene is very important for a restaurant. After all, it is all about food, and you don’t certainly expect insects or cockroaches to crawl out of the kitchen whenever the door is opened or a dead insect to appear from nowhere in your rice after you have finished half of the plate. Check out the photographs and videos of the restaurant from social media handles like Instagram or check out the real customer photographs from the restaurant review websites before you finally choose the restaurant for party this weekend.