So often when you dine out in a restaurant, let’s say a favorite restaurant that you’ve dined in many time before, you anticipate the meal and get excited just thinking about what foods you might experience. Once seated at your table, appetite in full bloom, you absorb all the familiar and exotic smells sights and sounds. You place your order with eager anticipation, and, after a bit of small talk, the food arrives with a great flourish. But then your first bite and…. Hmmmm – less than what you wanted. Not to be discouraged, and not losing your smile just yet, you continue to eat, convincing yourself that you will find that taste you are craving somewhere within the dish if you just keep digging. Finally, stomach full, you stop eating, place your fork down and reflect. Why was this time different? Where did the flavor go? Maybe you know why, or maybe you are not so sure, but you know it’s different, and in a not so good way. Something was off. The waiter approaches as your plates are being cleared and ask us how you enjoyed your meal. With a smile of kindness you say “oh, it was great!” Why not tell the truth? Everyone can have an off night – right? Who knows, probably you just don’t want to hurt any feelings, or you want to avoid confrontation, which is understandable. I mean, why add that to your already disappointing experience!
You might even consider yourself friendly and comfortable with the waiter, but still choose not to share the truth of your experience. You pay the tip, wrap things up, leave the restaurant and wonder if you’ll ever be back again. Sometimes you return, sometimes not. Even if you do go back, there is the slightest trepidation. In fact, when thinking “where should we eat tonight”, the memory of your last meal is probably the first thing that comes to mind, and has you quickly moving on to the next suggestion! That restaurant owner just lost a great customer and will never know why!!
Tweet and let me know if you tell the truth about your not so great experience or do you just not go back? Or are you a person that automatically assumes it was a one off day and you return again with as much excitement and anticipation as last time?