As the result of the economic down-turn food, ultimately, has increased in price. Not surprisingly, eating out in restaurants comes under the category of special event.
For me, as the cook in our household, when I take my wife out for a meal, we want to have something in a restaurant that I cannot make at home.
Fine dining does not come cheap so I expect value for money- both in terms of the food and the service. Inevitably we end up returning to the same restaurant, because we know that the quality and the service are consistent.
Occasionally, we venture forth to somewhere new, inspired by a review, but seem to pick the wrong day. The service is casual or off-hand with reasonable food, or atrocious food and reasonable service.
It is on such occasions when the food is atrocious that I want to concentrate my attention.
The reaction of the staff when we do complain is to nod stoically and apologise, but they don’t generally do anything practical about the complaint. Then for the rest of the evening they cower in the background, trying to avoid our gaze.
A recent television programme made interesting viewing. Michel Roux Jnr, the two starred Michelin chef, took a dozen unemployed teenagers and trained them in front of house service. He pointed out that a restaurant’s success depends largely on what happens front of house- how orders are taken, how customers are treated, the aviance created and how complaints are dealt with.
So Anne and I reassured with Roux’s comment will have greater confidence to complain, when appropriate, if the food is not up to standard, because that’s ultimately how standards improve, and hope that our waiters will also take pride in their work, and respond in a courteous and seemly way! Thus the whole dining experience will be a much improved experience for all.