Which of These 2 Restaurants Would You Choose?


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Why do we go out to eat?

Just to fill our stomachs, or to fill our stomachs and to be taken care of, to be catered to? We can get food anywhere but why do we go to a specific restaurant? Or a specific business, regardless of what type it is?

Because we feel good when we go there. Because of how they make us feel welcome. Because they make us feel special.

If you don’t feel special why keep going back?

Good question. Now let’s see these 2 examples…

Restaurant #1

Has great food but terrible service. Service that makes you feel as if you weren’t appreciated, or it didn’t matter if you spent your money there or not? Wait staff that never checked back with you during the meal; silverware that was spotty; food that was usually prepared wrong and not the way you wanted.

Restaurant #2

Has average food but the hostess and manager knew your name, greeted you as if you were family, and even remembered the table you liked or the specific drink you always requested. The waiter was always very attentive, you never had to ask for your beverage to be refilled and he proudly stated that his main focus was that you had a great evening.

  • Which restaurant would you want to go back to time and time again?
  • Which restaurant would you recommend to your friends?
  • Which restaurant DESERVES your business?

The answer is Restaurant #2.

So what is different in these 2 examples? CUSTOMER SERVICE.

It starts with a mindset that you will take care of every guest that walks into the door as if they are your family and has just come to your house for a holiday dinner. If that was the case would you ever let them feel unwanted or unappreciated? Made to feel that you didn’t care if they left happy or not?

Would you ever treat your grandma that way? Of course you wouldn’t. So don’t treat your guests that way either.

Oh, another question or two:

  • Which of these two restaurants do you think is busier and makes more money?
  • Which restaurant would you want to work in?
  • In which restaurant do you think the waiters make bigger tips?
  • Which restaurant do you think has the happiest employees?

Ok, so you don’t run a restaurant, well what if it was a shoe store, or an insurance business, or a carpet cleaning company, does it really matter? Of course not.

Treat your customers like guests at your house party. They will notice the difference and reward you with repeat business, referrals and increased revenue.

It’s a win-win situation.

So I ask you again, which restaurant would you choose?

This article is an excerpt from the author’s book “Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift…Even If You’re a Bad Waiter” and is reprinted here with his permission.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve DiGioia
Steve uses his 20+ years of experience in the hospitality industry to help companies and their employees improve service, increase morale and provide the experience their customers' desire. Author of "Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift...Even If You're a Bad Waiter" and named an "ICMI Top 50 Customer Service Thought Leader" and a "Top Customer Service Influencer" by CCW Digital, Steve continues his original customer service, leadership and management-based writings on his popular blog.


  1. Steve,

    I agree with the fundamental point you are making but I have two problems with your example:

    1. Often, people accept bad customer service in exchange for a good product. I have done it myself many times. The Soup Nazi in Sienfeld comes to mind, long lines at DisneyWorld, and why I chose UVerrse last month despite their bad service.

    2. More importantly, a company that cares about customer service, a company that truly values customer experience cannot offer mediocre products. At least jot for long. Customer centric companies understand the value of a good product and will invest in understanding their customers, what they want, and how to offer a good product.


  2. Steve,

    I didn’t quite understand your 1st example, which “has great food” but “food that was usually prepared wrong and not the way you wanted.” How can food be great when it’s prepared wrong?

    I can think of a few cases where I’ve frequented restaurants with great food and poor service. And the reverse, as well. Depends on the situation.

    My wife and I really like the food at a local Thai restaurant and eat there often even though the service is terrible.

    In another example, we go to a Japanese restaurant because they know us and treat us well, even though the food is just “ok.”

    Of course, if other restaurants opened up that didn’t force us to choose food vs. service, we would switch!

    Customer want to be treated well, for sure. But they also want good products. Truly customer-centric companies don’t make customers choose one over the other.

  3. Hi Bob,
    When I mentioned “has great food” but “food that was usually prepared wrong”, my intent was to imply that the food tasted great when it WAS prepared correct. Sorry for the confusion.


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