Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
Roberta Matuson's Blog

How to Fill the Empty Seats in Your Restaurant

Restaurant owners are complaining that they are unable to fill the empty seats in their restaurants. Please, give me a reason to return to those days when it was fun to dine out. Here’s what I mean by this. Nothing would delight me more than suggesting to my family that we dine out tonight. After a hard day of work, the last thing I want to do is prepare a meal. Yet I do. Here’s why.

Restaurant prices have risen why quality and service has declined. I don’t mind paying for a good meal. But why should I pay big bucks for a meal that is mediocre at best? I can certainly do mediocre myself, although I hope my family believes the meals I prepare are better than that.

A lot of the restaurants in my area have cut corners in their attempts to ride it out through the recession. Our town used to be known for it’s restaurants. In fact, so much so that people from major cities like Hartford would make the 45 minute drive just for a good meal. It seems like now the tables are turned. We now have to go to West Hartford for a meal that we’d consider memorable.

Cheap doesn’t have to mean substandard. Some of my favorite restaurants in the Boston area use fresh ingredients to create inexpensive meals. These are the restaurants where I make it a point to return, time after time. These places don’t have to waste money on advertising. Their food says it all.

Plain vanilla menus. Nothing demonstrates that your menu is uninspired more than grilled salmon. I mean hasn’t that fish been over fished by now? Surely there are other fish in the sea. Present me with one and let me get excited about dining out again.

Service failures. If I’m going to pay for service then for Pete’s sake, give me service. One waiter and ten tables isn’t my idea of service. Is it yours?

Please let me know when it’s safe to dine out again. I could really use a break from my kitchen duties. Bring back the dining experience and I promise I will reserve time on my calendar to dine at your establishment.

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