Blog Post: “Staring at the wall” (Jun. 2006)


“Architects may spend millions designing a restaurant, but if you’re staring at a wall — even if it’s an elegant glazed plaster wall — does it really matter?

…This feeling of isolation can easily be remedied by incorporating a strip of mirroring above the booths, which allows the diners facing the wall to view the room and feel a part of the action.”

source: “Staring at the wall” by Michael Bauer (Between Meals, Jun.16,2006)


Article: “Designs on menus” (Jun.2006)


“Diners may regard a menu as little more than a restaurant’s bill of fare, but chefs and owners know these deceptively simple-looking lists are layered with significance.

…Experts agree.

“The menu is probably the single most important piece of marketing [a restaurant] will ever produce,” says Isidore Kharasch, president of Hospitality Works Inc., a restaurant consulting firm in Deerfield. “What they do with it can make a big difference in how people spend money, how they perceive the restaurant–it’s really the whole package.”

source: “Designs on menus” by Janet Franz (Chicago Tribune, Jun.29,2006)

Blog: “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…"

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

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". The list of questions is worthy of printing out and being used as an operations checklist. Your customers may be using the same questions in evaluating their dining experience, however may not articulate it and just say "poor service".

Article: “Going with the Crowd” (Jan.2005)


"All three restaurants served types of food that we enjoy. Although it was early in the evening, one was already quite crowded. Another had a couple at one table near the window. The third appeared to have no customers.

In such a situation, many people might think that there must be some reason why no one is at the third restaurant. Maybe there's something wrong with it. The restaurant with just one couple might also appear questionable for the same reason…"

source: "Going with the Crowd" by Ivars Peterson (Science News, Jan.2005)

Interesting research on why your competitor's restaurant may be much more crowded than yours. The findings differ from popularly held beliefs. Restaurant owners may wish to consider early-dining specials to use this research to their advantage.