We ate out at a local restaurant last night, there were 10 of us in a group. Five turned up about 5-10 minutes before the other 5. It was a good 20 minutes before we had menus, 30 minutes before we had drinks and 40-50 before we got food.
Other than that it was a really good night, and we’ll certainly be going back.
It’s one of those funny things that so many places don’t get right. Me? The moment anyone turns up at the restaurant the first thing I do is put little bready snacky things on the table and something to read – wine list, cocktail list, menu or some combination thereof.
Aside from which menus are a great signal as to when the customer needs attention. Whilst some people will wave you over most will just wait for you to come to them. Frowning or heated discussions about dishes are a good sign, as are menus that have been put face down or to one side.
Let’s face it people go to a restaurant to eat and drink, and from the perspective of an owner, I want them to drink as much as possible. Even if the food is delayed at least then there’s something going on at the table.