What is the first thing you notice about a new restaurant?
Ambiance! I look at decor, flow and space, materials used for walls, lighting, tables, seating, and cleanliness. Dining is an experience just as much as nourishment and all elements matter in terms of value.
What is most important to you about your overall experience?
Service. I don't want to ever be conscious of my water getting low or if I've been waiting too long to order or for a check. You pay good money and a tip when dining out and excellent customer service will always make it worth it.
How do you find out about places you want to try?
I typically learn about new places to try from my friends. Most of friends love eating out and trying new spots, so I go to them first for recommendations. If traveling, I will Google and check Yelp for best restaurants and base my choice on reviews and menus.
What is most appealing about a restaurant’s menu?
I appreciate a speciality restaurant as long as they still have a variety of options. I want to be able to read and know the ingredients and do get irritated with too creative menus where I have to ask questions. Seasonal dishes, locally-sourced food, and changing menus are important to me because I like to know the restaurant is creative and supporting local businesses.
Are you likely to order drinks, appetizers, entrees, and dessert when you dine out? What would encourage you to do so?
I typically order drinks, appetizers, and entrees when I dine out. Like most people, when I walk into a restaurant I don't want to wait 30 minutes to eat because I am hungry! Thus, appetizers are usually ordered. Dessert is saved for special occasions.
What do you look for in the customer service?
Even if the food is stellar, I will not go back to a restaurant with poor service. I want to be greeted right away, sat quickly, and not wonder where our server is or be trying to get their attention for a refill or check.
For you, what makes a spot your go-to place or what earns it your recommendation?
Beautiful or fun atmosphere, great service, and decent prices. Happy hours that last until 7pm quickly become a place my friends and I make a "go-to place."