Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Aug 16, 2011 11:32 AM

How many tries do you give a restaurant?

I read comments on the boards like "we went when they first opened and plan to try again in a few weeks..."

How many times would you give a place before deciding it wasn't worth it? How about if the establishment is new? How long would you wait before trying again?

Are there places that have a dish you love but hate everything else about the place but you still go?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Depends on my expectations and the egregiousness of the experience. We had a favorite Italian place that went above and beyond in all our visits over a few year period (over a dozen times). We then had two experiences within a 2-month period that were awful, both with respect to service and food prep. Had we not experienced the good visits we would not have given them a second chance. Needless to say we've never been back.

    1. For a new place, It really depends how egregious the errors are and to some extent, how convenient it is to me (I'm much more apt to give a neighborhood place another shot as opposed to a place that takes an hour to get to on the subway).

      If my complaints are along the lines of "oversalted" or "lukewarm" or "kind of overcooked", I might give that another shot and see if the kitchen works out the kinks. Ditto slow or spotty service. But if I straight up don't like my meal at all or don't think they use quality ingredients, then I tend not to bother with a second try unless I read about significant improvement.

        1. re: arktos

          There's got to be a thousand restaurants within a kilometer of my current location, and I have a large queue of places I've been meaning to try. So why put up with any failure?

          1. re: arktos

            I agree. One strike and you're out. I like to see good restaurants succeed, thrive and prosper, and by that I mean good food--at any price point. If you can't do that, get out of the way before you lose any more money and I waste any more of mine.

            1. re: arktos

              If I try a restaurant and the food falls short, I'm not going back.

              However, if I try a 'young' restaurant and the food is good but the service is a mess, I will usually give them a second chance because I am still hoping they'll fix that. I might feel the same if a few dishes were excellent but others weren't. But just bad food? I would never give that a second chance.

              1. re: Adrienne

                ' I will usually give them a second chance because I am still hoping they'll fix that'

                I can agree with that. Young eating establishments usually have 'teething' issues; that's why when they open, I'll wait about 6-8 months before I try them out. But If they don't have their act together by then, they probably never will.. hence, the 1-strike rule.

            2. In theory I think a restaurant deserves at least two tries, but it's really hard for me to go back somewhere if I think I'm going to be throwing my money away a second time. If I can eat for less than $40 or it's really convenient, I'll give it another shot or two, but if I pay $100 for dinner for two and it's terrible that's probably the end of it.

              1. There are many, many people who love a place because they know the waitstaff and proprietor, consider them friends, repeatedly frequent the place, despite the food. There's a place in town that has so many ecstatic yelp reviews that they serve "the best pizza in town..." - hardly.

                I think chowhounds probably think differently, the opposite almost. I can tolerate bad service because the waiter is new, but I go for the food.