Article: “Questions to ask in evaluating restaurants” (May 2006)

"Reviewing a restaurant is much more than gathering a group of friends, ordering different items on the menu and then telling readers what you liked.

A committed critic has dozens of checkpoints. These help determine the star rating used by The Chronicle. And after the first visit, there are at least two more. Each has to be considered before the final stars are awarded.

Determining Professional Service:

– Does the waiter know the menu and wine list and explain them in an articulate way?

– Is he well groomed and at ease at the table?

– Does he answer questions completely or find out the answers promptly?

– Does he remove and replace plates and utensils between courses?

– Does he put the plates in front of the right person?

– Does he wait until everyone is finished before removing the plates?

– Does he check in periodically to see if you need anything?

– Does he perform his duties in an unobtrusive manner?

– If there is a delay in the kitchen, does he communicate what's going on?

– If you complain, does he listen and act accordingly?

– Is the waiter able to "read" your table and adapt his behavior? (Some people want lots of interaction, others don't. The best waiters are adept at determining that)."

source: "Questions to ask in evaluating restaurants" by Michael Bauer (Between Meals Blog, May 8, 2006) [via Slashfood]

WaiterBell Angle: How do restaurant critic's evaluate your restaurant? The long answer is provided by Michael Bauer, critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, on his new blog "Between Meals". 

There are many elements to restaurant customer service, and a majority of them are listed in throughout this article. Numerous factors listed would be safeguarded from negatively affecting the dining experience by empowering the customer with WaiterBell. Two examples listed are: "Is the waiter able to "read" your table and adapt his behavior?" and "Does the waiter make himself available so you can ask for the check?"


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