There are a lot of things that go in building the popularity of a good restaurant ..
Location plays a key role . If its very near to an extremely famous restaurant , the barometers of judgement go higher .. if it’s one of its kind, then usually, comparisons are low and a herd of loyal customers starts building up.Simple things like ample parking in-front of the Eatery become important. ready availability of Valet can be expected .
Once inside , Ambience is the foremost thing that makes up the Mood. More or less, It must be in tandem with the kind of Cuisine they are serving . For example , The ones serving Chinese or Japanese are supposed to be in bold hues of Orange or Red.. Those serving Indian should be in bright colors with cheerful interior, etc.
Seating arrangement comes next…under all circumstances, except in nightclubs it needs to be supremely comfortable if not snug or Cozy.
Nothing can really compensate if the food is not upto the mark. Distances Blur, tiredness is ignored when a sudden pang of hunger strikes and one decides that only a visit to one’s favorite eatery can assuage it , but, what can really be a game changer is the Staff you hire .
They need to be extremely aware of every nook and crany of the place they are serving ..very prudent with the food they serve. They should know their best offerings, not based on price, but their specialties- The way it is prepared and how it is different from the rest makes all the difference. A helping and guiding help can make the customer comfortable, help him navigate though the menu and finally come down to the best choice.
No technology or social media ramping can help a restaurant more than the spread of positive word of mouth.
On a similar note I would like to share my bad experience of today :-
Today at around 8.00 when we were stuck in a bad traffic while entering Bandra West, My Friend and I had a sudden Pang for Pizza and we decided to try Ray’s Café & Pizzeria over the Playlist Pizzeria on a completely random thought.
It is situated in a small , snug little corner , immediately behind the immensely popular , Mamagoto. I don’t know whether the proximity to Mamagoto is actually helping Ray’s to pull crowds or damaging its potential to create its own identity!
Well, we entered inside. As rightly quoted by a number of newspapers during its launch, it has a certain relaxed, Goan, carefree , Holiday kind of feel ! The ambiance, the decor and the placement of minimal furniture, is soothing and inviting in ways , esp. the outdoor sitting arrangements.
But once well inside, the ordeal Begins..
We stood for a good 10 mins but there was no one to help. We ourselves went to the guy at the counter to ask for a table. Nobody came forward to enquire/help. After getting the seat , we again waited for another 15mins for someone to arrive at our table..I asked the guy about their signature Pizzas and he pointed the section for signature Pizzas on the menu without uttering a word . I again explained myself that I wanted to know about the best Vegetarian Pizzas that they served and he immediately pointed to the most expensive pizza on bottom of the page .. A clear indicator that he had no idea about the kinds of pizzas being served , the best ones and the popular ones. I asked about sides.. again no suggestions. No efforts to couple it with a nice drink.
So , Left to our own devices we ordered Ray’s ultimate veggie frontier, Garlic Bread with Cheese and a Mohito Cooler to go with it .Within 15 mins our food arrived in the shabbiest possible dishes and serving Pans. I am used to seeing pizzas being served on beautiful Wooden Trays but here they are served on ugly circular steel plates kind of thing. The basket which held the Garlic Bread could not have cost them more than 25 bucks at Santacruz Junction. San Mohito, everything was pale , bland and below average.
There are people around , to cook, to serve , to help but somehow they are the most demotivated lot I have ever seen.
I hope Ray’s realizes that Closeness to Mamagoto also brings its food and services within the same barometers of Quality and expectations naturally go high.