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when does a restaurant deserve a 2d chance??

  • m

you are disappointed in a meal or a particular dish. do you ever go back to that rest. again thinking that they just had an off night and that it might be better the next time??

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  1. No.
    If they can't figure out how to make my experience a good one...
    I don't go back.

    1. If a restaurant really fails me, then I make the effort to tell them what I found not satisfactory.
      THEN, if they listen and make a sincere effort to understand me, I will give them a second chance. In most all of my experiences, the second-chance try was a much better experience.

      1. When the restaurant is in my neighborhood and there aren't any good options for a similar cuisine nearby. To me, being able to walk to a good restaurant is worth giving one 2-3 tries before I give up.

        Other than that, I'm usually reluctant to give restaurants that didn't impress me a second chance, because there are so many excellent restaurants where I live (San Francisco).

        1 Reply
        1. re: bluex

          +1, I'll always give the family-owned neighborhood spots second or even third chances, unless it was just horrendous.

          Expensive, upscale places? Once and move on.

        2. Sure, if I've heard good things from others whose taste I trust, or if the dishes at other tables looked amazing, or if I just feel like it. Probably not if it was just underwhelming, or everything looked about the same quality, or I didn't enjoy anything about it.

          For example: there's a place in my city rather famous for its meats -- pulled pork, lamb ribs, brisket, pork belly, duck tacos, etc. -- and my foodie friends all just RAVED about it. My first time there the pork was delicious but about 2/3 fat (yes, I mentioned it to the server and yes, they fixed it). Of course I gave it another chance. But on the other hand, I went for happy-hour drinks to a neighborhood place that was apparently trying to be the TGIFridays of gastropubs, a few months after it opened. Nothing was bad, in fact some of it was pretty tasty, but it was just so boring: ass-kissy servers in matching bland uniforms, mediocre beer brewed in-house, bacon on everything. Snore. A place like that doesn't get another chance.

          1. only if a close friend really wants to go there for something that's important to them - my friends are more important than ensuring that I always go out for an awesome meal

            1. If the food is really good but the service bad, I might go back.

              If the food is bad (or substandard for the price paid), I generally won't go back, unless I hear enough dissenting opinions from people whose judgement I trust.

              It does depend a bit on environment. If I'm living somewhere where that type of restaurant is hard to find, or there is little choice in general (small towns say, or there's only one Indian restaurant in reasonable distance) I might go for a second chance, more out of hope than anything else. If there is lots of choice around, then I'll take an old favourite, or a new try, over something that probably will be disappointing.

              1 Reply
              1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                For comparison, there are easily a couple of thousand restaurants within a $6 cab ride of my apartment. With that much choice, there's no point to going back to someplace disappointing or borderline.

              2. Depends. I might put disappointment in a dish down to making a poor choice. I might then give them another chance, particularly if it was somewhere where I had had a good experience previously.

                Disappointment with the "experience" means I'm not going back

                1. Generally speaking, always.

                  Why not? Do you get eberything right every time? I don't. I don't correct the typo here to illustrate.

                  1. when they>>>>
                    #1 Change chefs
                    #2 Change ownnership
                    #3 Fire the offending/non-performing server/host/bartender

                    when you
                    #1 are taken as a guest and can't refuse the invitation
                    #2 hear of great improvement from people whose opinion/taste you trust
                    #3 when you have suffered a multi day power outage in your area and they are the only restaurant in the area that hasn't lost power

                    1. Yes. If they're newly opened, they could still be working the kinks out. And even if they're not, they might not have ironed out the dish. Caveats to this is if the dish was completely vile. Otherwise, I'll assume it's just not to my taste and try something else the next time. But I know what I like and what I don't, and don't order anything with an ingredient I don't like (such as cilantro).

                      1. If ever there is a mishap or miscue in any restaurant, if it is addressed and resolved to my satisfaction....then that restaurant deserves a second chance.

                        Exceptions are for when I can clearly tell I do not like the style or quality of the food being prepared and served......and if there are cleanliness issues.

                        1. I give them a second chance if
                          a) I'm really hungry and the other nearby options are worse
                          b) I'm dining with a friend who really wants to dine there
                          c) a Chef or Sous Chef I like has started working there
                          d) they're offering something I can't find elsewhere
                          e) there have been reports from people I follow or trust that the food has become better or more consistent.

                          1. If people I trust told me good things or I'm familiar with some of the staff I'll try again, especially if it's an independent establishment (not a chain). Bad service can be a freakish thing and if mgmt and the food were good then I'll try again.

                            Think of all the mistakes you've made throughout your life wherein you were given a 2nd chance. Most often I would return for a 2nd try. Unless it's a chain, which I try to avoid anyway.

                            1. When I realize a few days later that it was the company not the restaurant that ruined the meal.

                              When I realize my dinner date didn't like the meal and wouldn't let me enjoy mine.

                              When the Chef I came for wasn't there that night.

                              1. This is not meant to be as an insult, but I think this is the difference between eaters and foodies. If you can recognize a bad experience as being a fluke, then you might want to give the place a second chance. If the service is bad on a busy night as opposed to a slow night, obviously that needs to be taken into account. I love rare/medium-rare burgers. If I go to a place and get it medium well, I can still recognize if the beef is good and might give them a pass. If they do it medium well the next time....last time going there. If something like soup comes out cold, then I view that as the place not being on top of things. If the product is shabby, last time.

                                To me a perfect example of this is Smith & Wollensky's. A revered steakhouse, where I was taken care of better than anywhere I've ever been. The steaks...as average as I've ever had. A $225 night. Last time going there if I'm paying. Went to a local Chinese place and had cold food. Looked around and realized there were five people dining. Last time going. But went to a place that was swamped at lunch and received a lackluster meal. I decided to ask the waiter when they are slow. Went back for a late lunch, had the same thing and it was amazing. So many factors to consider....and I consider myself fairly critical.