I am a scientist by trade. I don’t have an English or Journalism degree and I can say things that are pretty blunt. Though I have no formal writing skills, as I mentioned before, I am a scientist and because I am a scientist, I’d like to say I analyze things extremely well.
Food is no exception.
Like a scorecard, I will analyze a restaurant in the five sections I feel make a restaurant: Taste, Ambiance, and Service, Cost and Selection and then give an Overall rating.
Taste- Food must taste good. I don’t care if it’s greasy or healthy, food must taste good. Luckily for me, I am not necessarily picky, but I can be very analytical. I’ll eat everything off of my plate and then yours because I hate wasting food. Because of this and other sensory training, I can really appreciate and describe food in a decent amount of detail. In a salad, I deconstruct certain parts such as the leaves to the crunchy toppings and describe the salad in great detail.
Ambiance – When I say Ambiance, I mean I certain type of feel. A feel that encompasses a type of “culture” in a restaurant. If you are eating at an organic restaurant, you would want the organic restaurant to feel like you’re in a healthy garden atmosphere with wooden floors and bright plants. The feel of a restaurant is important and complements price and taste, though not always. When I talk about the ambiance of a place, I imagine the environment which includes the color scheme, the way the employees are dressed, the way they communicate with you and the type of silverware you have to use.
Service – In this category, service means many things. For me as a consumer, it means how they handle themselves during their busiest times, how many times they fill our water, or how they communicate with their customers. When I ask them what they recommend to eat, I judge service on what answer they give me. For me, service is how passionate they are with their waiter job because that shows how much they care about their restaurant. Most Asian restaurants are family owned and you can definitely tell. If they want your business, then they will go and get to know you.
Cost – How expensive is the food? This section is as objective as it gets. If the place is nice, then I expect the cost to be high. However, quality is always going to be mentioned and since I’m a penny pincher, I am going to judge the food if it’s worth the cost.
Selection – Some Asian menus have a great selection but most have too many options! How is their menu structured? Does it have pictures? Or is it just pretty simple? Selection is important to me because it shows what a restaurant focuses on. It is not necessarily a bad thing to have too much or too little on the menu because some focus on variety (like Chinese restaurants) and some on purity (most Japanese restaurants). In this section, menu placement and drink variety is also a plus.
Overall – If you had to skip all of the hard work I’ve worked on, read this section that will tell you how good or bad the restaurant is.