1. Temperature-One of the most simple, but important things in a restaurant is temperature of food. Temperature of food is essential because it determines the quality of the food. If the food is cooked to hard, too soft, burnt, not to exact temperature of the product it can prove disastrous. It may seem like such a simple thing but if you look at most cooking shows and most great chefs they are very concerned about the temperature of the food and how the products are cooked. Temperature is a key item that will separate you from other restaurants, having food that is slightly burnt or overcooked will cause bad word of mouth, especially if your servers do not ask how the food is during service.
2. Thickness-The thickness of the cut of steak, combined with the temperature will determine the tenderness of the meat. Why is this important in a restaurant? It is important because thickness determines the overall quality to the palete. It also determines presentation when serving. You determine the level of thickness based upon the presentation of the dish and the types of items it is going with. If you are serving mashed potatoes and steak you may have a larger thickness that serving fine wine dipped slices of steak with string beans or a presentation of vegetables.
3. Taste-Taste revolves around temperature and thickness, it is the end result, the taste to the palete. However, great chefs now that taste also involves spices, sauces, salt, herbs and other ingredients. If you want great taste you have to design it. There are so many ways you can make chicken: fried, roasted, bbq, but more importantly there are so many sauces you can add to make it taste. Sauces and other flavours separate your dish from others. It makes it unique to your restaurant and a destination to talk about.
4. Tenderness-Tenderness is what is achieved with thickness, time and temperature. The tenderness is what “melts in your mouth”. It is essential in high end restaurants to make the food feel easy to eat. To have an exceptional time enjoying the flavour and the presentation rather that spending time trying to cut up or chew the food. Tenderness is very important when being able to design presentation in dishes as well that require curves and presentation that is key to getting responses from guests.
In addition to the presentation of food, presentation of the service is essential in restaurants. There are numerous items that have to be considered but two themes remain important.
5. Timeliness-Timeliness in key in service. Why is this important? Depending on the type of restaurants, guests have an expected waiting time. In fast food it is 5-10 minutes, the faster the better. Pace and speed is important in these types of restaurants. In high end restaurants it could be 10-30 minutes, it really depends on the anticipation of expected wait times, number of courses in the meal and size and volume of the dinner crowd. Timeliness is essential in service to give the guests time to socialize with themselves and the table and time to present dishes and beverages that meet their needs. A great server can tell when a guest is ready for service and gets used to a flow of the restaurant.
6. Theatre-The restaurant must have some kind of response to the eye. Is it a quiet white linen, candle-lit restaurant type of mood or does lively music play with bold colors and themes on the wall. In determining your presentation of the service area, you must decide the end result or image you want to have with the guest while in the restaurant and when they leave as well.