Two ingredients for a successful restaurant are excellently prepared food and impeccable service. Without this basic mixture, patrons will be reluctant to return. Factors such as price point, type of cuisine, and specials may lure one through the door, but the quality of the food and the service will ensure a returning customer.
Should the consistency of the food and the service be the only factors? Are there any other aspects that need to be considered?
An appealing internet special initiated a call to Bonefish Grill. Before completing the conversation, the manager at the Westminster location asked if we would be celebrating a special occasion. Yes, we were celebrating our wedding anniversary. From the moment we entered the restaurant until the time we left, everyone we encountered had been alerted to this simple fact. I cannot remember being wished “Happy Anniversary” so many times.
The special included a salad- either the house or a Caesar salad- and an entree. The bountiful house salad included romaine lettuce, tomatoes, hearts of palm, kalamata olives, and seeds. We have yet to be disappointed by any Bone Fish entrée and this occasion was not an exception. As an added bonus, we were treated to a small anniversary gift, a tray of chocolate covered strawberries with a pool of whipped cream. I cannot forget to mention the exceptional service that was provided by our waiter.
Restaurant chains are usually not places that I frequent. But the food and the service at Bonefish remain consistent no matter what location I visit. I will keep on returning.
On another evening, my husband and I ate at Trattoria on Pearl in Boulder. I had never visited this restaurant before. A Groupon certificate and a Monday night special- wine, salad or soup, and entrée for $15 were the calling card. The generous portion of Eggplant Parmigiana could easily have fed two. More than half was boxed up for another meal so that we could indulge in a special treat.
An order of Profiteroles for two was a romantic way to end a delightful summer meal in Boulder. Would I return without the enticements? I do not know.
Sushi remains popular with the college aged crowd. Thus, there is no shortage of Asian restaurants in Boulder. For Father’s Day, we visited Japango, also located on Pearl. We took advantage of the Happy Hour bonus that included reduced drinks and a $2 discount on sushi rolls. Our family had dined here before. The quality of the food and the service has remained constant for years. When our sons visit us in Colorado, they make their way to Japango on Pearl Street.
When I take the night off from cooking and visit a restaurant, I anticipate a certain level of professionalism. One of my pet peeves is being told by the host or hostess that it will be approximately X number of minutes until we have a table and it ends up being more than double. Everyone realizes that some people may dawdle and take longer than normal to exit a table. My displeasure and lack of patience occurs when it is clear that an underestimation of time has been provided. I would prefer an overestimation of wait time and then be pleasantly surprised when I am seated quicker.
We recently visited the highly acclaimed, Sushi Zanmai.We waited and waited. People who arrived after us were seated before us. After we were finally seated at the table, the quality of service did not match up with the restaurant’s reputation. Perhaps, our server was having a less than stellar day. Part of our appetizers arrived after our group was served the entrée. All of the food was flavorful. The sushi rolls were fresh and tasty while the entrees were hearty. The lively and entertaining atmosphere reminded us that we were eating in Boulder, but my overall experience fell short of what I expected.
Another one of my sons’ favorite Boulder restaurants on the west end of Pearl Street is The Mediterranean, commonly referred to as the The Med. In recent years, we have gone to this restaurant whenever any of them returns home. The all too familiar words- consistency and quality- continue to ring true. We have never been disappointed. A large gathering provides ample opportunities for pictures.
Appetizers are enticing and the gazpacho soup had a wonderful assortment of spices.
The reasonably priced margarita pizza was shared as an appetizer.
Entrees included salmon and tuna.
The Med will continue to be a place for celebrations as long as the quality remains.
Sandra Bornstein is the author of MAY THIS BE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE. It is available on Amazon. Sandra’s memoir highlights her living and teaching adventure in Bangalore, India. She is a licensed Colorado teacher who has taught K-12 students in the United States and abroad as well as college level courses. Sandra is married and has four adult sons.
The memoir was a finalist in the Travel category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the 2013 International Book Awards, the 2013 National Indie Book Excellence Awards, the 2013 USA Best Book Awards, and received an Honorable Mention award in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category for the 2013 Global ebook Awards.
If you’re interested in travel, follow Sandra’s latest adventures on Examiner.com.