I’ve just caught up with my good friend, Kenneth Ong, a certified foodie. He knows his way around the kitchen, and his best friends = his taste buds. We had lunch at a newly opened restaurant. Along lunch, we were talking about the slew of new restos in Davao city and how this has changed the way we, Davaowenyos, dine out. We’ve noted a few things:
Service Needs an Overhaul
The other night, I was having dinner at Penong’s (a homegrown brand) and it wasn’t a very busy night. I had to call SIX TIMES for my soup, THREE TIMES for the softdrinks and another THREE TIMES for the bill. That is just unforgivable, right? Now, that is just one example. I’m sure you have many horror service stories about the service here in Davao. Don’t forget uninterested salesladies, un- or mis-informed staff and waiters who purposely avoid your line of sight. Ugh. This is why a lot of homegrown brands struggle or simply die despite producing really good products.
Then there are places that need urgent makeovers. Plain white walls, cream colored tables and boring staff uniform are total eyesores. Hey resto owners, did you know that color and texture also helps in boosting the appetite of your customers, hence, making them order more of your food? Old-time favorites are not exempted to this rule. If they want to maintain the classic look, at least add more eye candy. Paintings, nice photographs and other interesting artsy decor are inexpensive. Also an urgent case: clean and bright bathrooms with tissue, soap and running water.
Now, note that dining does not only reflect responsibility from the restaurant ; there’s also an amount of responsibility expected from the diner. For example, if you are booking a special event at a restaurant and you are quite a huge group, call ahead and make a reservation. Most restaurants have profiles on Facebook, some even have websites and blogs. It’s easy to find their contact numbers through Internet. You really have no excuse not to do it. I think for some restos you may even pre-book parking space. Remember to come on time as courtesy for the restaurant as well. To avoid the wait, you may also call in your order. Aside from that, diners also need to know basic courtesy: don’t stare at the person eating if you are waiting to occupy their table, don’t break the ordering rules and make up your mind before you order.
I hope we finally level up in the restaurant scene. It’s embarrassing everytime I rave about a resto, take my foreign visitors there, and we end up with bad service. I’m sure some of you might have experienced this also. There are so many homegrown brands that produce great food and them not level up would just be…heartbreaking.