My husband and I absolutely love dining out. In fact we visit some of our favorite restaurants nearly every day for lunch, and have enjoyed all of our meals, until recently.
Lately, a number of our favorite go-to’s have begun to serve less than perfect food. I know this, because when you’ve enjoyed their meals for years and know the quality they have served – you notice immediately when they begin to cut back.
I’m not sure if it’s because they’re trying to save money or they’re not making enough of it to make ends meet. Either way, we can tell when they’ve chosen to cut back on the freshness.
For example, we’ve been customers of a few local restaurants over the last few years and just within the last six months we’ve noticed that the quality of their food is not the same. One in particular has been mixing what seems to be day old chicken with fresh chicken.
How can I tell? The new cuts are so tender they practically melt in your mouth (this is what we’ve been used to over the years), and then, when we take a bite, some of those pieces are literally tough, like you’re biting into rubber!
Another favorite restaurant began serving old, reheated rice. Since I cannot eat white rice due to blood sugar I’ve opted for brown rice and in the past my bowl would always come out to our table steaming with freshness, made that day, until recently. Now, they’ve been serving old, dry, hard brown rice that’s been reheated.
I’m not sure if restaurant owners understand this, but when you begin to serve less than perfect ingredients, your new customers will most likely not return and your regular customers are going to leave in search of restaurants that take pride in serving only the freshest ingredients.
Recently during our trip to Nashville, we visited a number of restaurants that advertised – serving fresh ingredients made today! And let me tell you, they were telling the truth! They’re food was so delicious!
If you as a restaurant owner/manager can tell the difference between fresh, made today and day old – guess what? Your customers can too!
Here’s a Tip: We’ll be happy to pay a little extra for fresh food! So, if your prices need to go up to maintain freshness, then so be it!
The Harsh Reality: If you cut back on quality and freshness, you WILL lose your customers. They will search for new restaurants that continue to pride themselves on serving only the best!
We have left a couple of those establishments in search of better quality and I’m happy to say we’ve found them!
Look at it this way – what kind of food would you like to be served when you take your loved ones out for a meal? You want the best, right? I’m sure you’ve most likely answered ‘yes’ to this question. Then the next time you open the doors of your restaurant – make sure you serve the highest quality of food that you want to be served, and when you do – you’re new customers will become return customers (that is why you’re in business right?) and your repeat customers will continue to come back! It’s a win win!
Nina Tidwell is a member of Trip Advisor, and Reviews Restaurant Food Quality and Service regularly.