When you go out to eat, the goal is to have the best experience possible. This means taking the time to do a little research about the restaurant before you go.
1- Explore the Menu
It’s important to know what’s on the menu. You should be familiar with the ethnicity of the food as well as what you can order. Some restaurants might be casual while others are going to be fine dining. By reading through the menu, you will be able to see what you would likely order for appetizers, entrees, and even desserts. If you call the restaurant on the day you are visiting, you can also find out if there is a soup of the day or any kind of chef specials being run.
2- Check the Prices
You should know what it’s going to cost to dine in a particular restaurant. There’s nothing quite like going into a restaurant and then being shocked by the cost. Review the whole menu and have a rough idea of what everyone will order. Remember that you then need to add in the cost of tax and gratuity. If a menu with prices is not posted on the website, you can use various review sites to see what the estimated costs per entree are. Many sites utilize dollar signs to identify how expensive a restaurant is so you can be in the know.
3- Determine if it’s Kid-Friendly
Some restaurants are geared towards children, complete with a kid’s menu. You should find out if a restaurant is kid-friendly prior to arriving. This is important whether you have children or not. If you do have children, it will tell you that it’s a good place to go and know that your children will have a good experience. If you don’t have kids and a restaurant caters to them, you might want to think twice if you were hoping for a more grown-up dining experience for the night.
4- Read Reviews
Take the time to read the reviews of a restaurant so you know what to expect. If you find that there are more negative than positive comments about the food, the service, or anything else, you might decide to pass and find a different restaurant to visit. Focus more on the three and four star reviews than the one and five as it will give you a more accurate representation of the restaurant.
5- Find Out if Reservations are Needed
If reservations are needed, be sure you make them ahead of time. There’s a lot of technology available to help you with making reservations. Some restaurants are even allowing you to get onto a waitlist before you have made it in front of the host stand. It’s designed to provide you with convenience and a better overall dining experience.
6- Check on Parking
Not all restaurants have parking on premises. Some will offer valet while others will tell you where you can park. It’s important to know about the parking situation before you get to the restaurant so you don’t end up being late for your reservation. If parking information isn’t on the website, call the restaurant.
By reviewing some of the different facts about a restaurant ahead of time, you can improve your experience. You should know what kind of food you’re going to get and what the overall atmosphere will be so you can decide if it’s right for the occasion. Not all restaurants are right for every occasion, especially if you’re celebrating something special. It doesn’t take long to get some extra information about a restaurant.