Despite my general dislike of going out to eat, my wife and I went to a restaurant on New Year’s Eve. While we did have a nice time, I was reminded throughout dinner just why it is I prefer to cook at home, especially on holidays.
When eating out on holidays and special occasions, like New Year’s Eve, diners may run into one or more of the following, which reduces the value of the experience and the hard earned cash you spend:
The busier the restaurant, the smaller slice of time each customer gets from their server. This could lead to longer wait time for drinks, food delivery and mistake correction. If you go out to eat when you know it’s going to be busy, you’re reducing your chances of having great service.
As with the front of the house service, when a restaurant is overwhelmed the kitchen can get backed up. Chefs are less likely to put the same amount of care and effort into the food than when they are less busy. Food can take longer to be prepared, and the overall quality may not be as high.
Some restaurants, including the one I went to on New Year’s Eve, offer a special limited menu on special occasions. We didn’t know it at the time we made the reservations, but once we arrived we were made aware that there was a special menu with only a handful of things available that evening. Not surprisingly the choices were the most expensive things they normally had to offer. The menu was cut down to make things easier on the kitchen, to keep things moving along, and to maximize revenue for the evening.
When a restaurant knows they will be extremely busy, reservations may be required even if they are not under normal conditions. This reduces the options of the consumer, requiring diners to fit into a time slot that works for the restaurant, but may not be optimal for the customer.
Going out to eat on holidays can reduce the value of the benefits of going out to eat in the first place. While New Year’s Eve has passed, there are other holidays right around the corner for which dining out is a popular choice. It’s not impossible to have a great experience at a restaurant on a holiday or special occasion, but the cards might be stacked against you.
How about you, Clever Friends, have you had an exceptionally good or bad restaurant experience on a special occasion?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock