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Oct 24, 2008 06:32 PM

Why did you Break-Up with a Favorite Restaurant?

Over the years they were your “go to” place for a good meal in the neighborhood, to pick up a pizza, get your bagel & coffee or to carry out your favorite ethnic food. The owner/chef/manager/staff knew you by sight if not by name. You were a loyal customer and used to sing their praises. They were independent and local, not part of a dreaded chain.

At some point, you had to break-up with them. Not for economic reasons, but because something else wasn’t working for you anymore. It was a conscious decision, almost as hard as breaking it off with your hairdresser or a decent boyfriend or girlfriend. For your own good, the relationship had to end! You’ll still miss the old favorite restaurant or at least you’ll miss their glory days, the convenience, the comfortable feeling you got & finding their replacement won’t be easy, but it has to be done.

There’s been a lot of mention of the importance of supporting small, independent restaurants during this economic crunch. While I agree, it also got me thinking about other reasons that customers break-up with an old favorite. Perhaps the menu hasn’t evolved over the years or the atmosphere is no longer appealing or maybe the service & food have gotten inconsistent. What was it that made you decide to break-up with an old favorite restaurant?

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  1. They allow smoking and have no windows. I eventually realized that that was simply a dumb combination for me as a non-smoker to spend time in.

    It is, though, irreplaceable....but that's OK.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ccbweb

      so too is your health irreplaceable :)

    2. oh man, this is one of the most heartwrenching moments for me!!! Usually its caused by a serious change(chef leaving, menu 180, severe price increase or quality decrease) that never gets addressed by the establishment. You know, you ask why the food is different and all you get is blank stares, as to say "what EVER do you mean???" . If they would just be honest and say " we had a change of chef, and we are going to be trying some new dishes....hope you will give us a chance to keep your business" I would be ecstatic.

      the other being if i get sick......more then once. that is not an accident, that speaks volumes about whats going on behind the curtain.

      1. They lost their edge and stopped caring about the food they served and the service they provided.

        1. I had a baby. I know, I know not all restaurants should be child friendly, but when I showed up with my sleeping infant, for a late lunch, along with two friends, and the place was practically empty, they could have not glared at me. They knew me by name, but the idea that I brought a baby into their place just rankled them. Okay, so they don't have high chairs, she was in the infant carrier and I was fine with setting that on a chair or the floor.

          They made me so very uncomfortable. My daughter was a gem, and slept silently through the entire meal. If she had made a fuss, we would have left immediately, but she didn't.

          Anyway, husband and I have not been back, even for a "date night". They just made me so uncomfortable.

          1. I hate to say it, but raising prices. When dinner entrees start out at $12-18, I can handle it. Now they are $20-32, and that takes it out of our repertoire. At that price range, there's better food in our area.

            Smoking is another. There is one place we love that we will go to early in order to avoid the smoke later on. Most other places that allow smoking in the dining room just don't have good enough food to justify it.