In my 20+ years in the restaurant biz, my philosophy always was (and still is) buy the best quality ingredients and serve up food that is thoughtfully prepared. (Sundancer, my time spent in the resto biz equates with your time spent in the furniture biz…equal amounts of hair pulled out and sleepless nights.) You get into trouble when you buy garbage and try to doctor it up and pass it off as quality. Come on. People know the difference. Much to my delight and chagrin at the same time, we always had a 3 hour wait for a table on the weekends and an hour on the weekdays. I used to look at my Sous and say, "These people are NUTS, CRAZY! I wouldn’t wait THREE hours to eat my food!" But they did. I guess the quality and ingenuity was there. Especially the quality. Once, when asked what I did for a living I replied "I make people’s tummies happy." AMEN!
The thread was to evaulate apples to apples. You cannot compare a $1.00 burger to a $6.00 burger.
The intent was to evauate what quality is.
How can you identify quality with a $1.00 burger vs. a $1.00 burger. It gets down to taste, cleanliness, service and employee attitude. It is simply your thoughts on the restaurant you visit. Is it better? Did i get it faster, is it clean, and how didi I like it????????????
Paul E. Smith
I agree that value is part of the quality equation — and is certainly in the eye of the beholder. There are $10 restaurants that I believe are of tremendous quality and value. On the other hand, there are $100 restaurants that I believe offer neither sufficient quality nor value. This doesn’t mean that, if comparing them as "equals", I necessarily believe the theoretical $10 restaurant is of higher quality than the more expensive one: it means, however, that I believe it’s of higher quality for what it is.
Value, for me, is almost as integral a part of quality as is the taste of the food. I love Kelly’s Roast Beef in Revere, MA, for example. But I wouldn’t like it too much if I had to pay $60 for a roast beef sandwich.
I DO believe in certain minimum requirements, however. I personally couldn’t compare the quality and value of two $1 steaks, for instance, because I believe it’s impossible for a $1 steak to be any good. Maybe one would be less bad than the other, but I can’t imagine it’d be good.
Skylarone: Your observation is good but what you described would not make the grade in my definition of quality regarding attitude of employees and taste.
A high end restaurant can be very glitzy and be terrible. It takes a lot to qualify for great quality
We are racing in Vegas this week end with NHRA and I intend on being a little opulent where we will pay for a little glitter but I expect good taste, good service and all the other goodies you would expect from a high end restaurant. BTW we will be going to Delmonico’s for a porterhouse, Canadian houch and some good horse dervers.
Paul E. Smith
Sundancer, I agree with your criteria for good quality as it pertains to a restaurant. But I would would also add one more element, which would be value. I have no problem paying a fair price for a good meal. But I don’t care for restaurants where you pay exhorbitant prices just because there are linen tableclothes, a wine list, and a so-called chef instead of a cook in the kitchen. I have been to places like this where the food was bland, the servings were microscopic, and the servers were condescending and sometimes downright snotty. I enjoy a nice restaurant, but only when it’s not all glitter and no substance.
Excuse me Bushie[:D] Spell check does not know dates. I knew I felt old for some reason. My factory was in Decatur, TN located on about 5 acres of land which also had a 1 acre pond which was great for frog gigging. Unfortunately my career as a expert frog gigger was terminated when my flashlight was one foot away from a pesky copper head. My enthusiasm was immediately dampened.
Hardest work I have ever done was run that factory. I sold it after a few years. I left the pharmaceutical industry to own my own business. Sounded good but I found that the only thing more overated than natural childbirth was owning your own business. Many nights I woke with cold sweat all over me wondering how I was gonna make the payroll.
The only thing great about it was the employess in this great country town would bring a dish every Friday and it would be like a reunion dinner. Those country ladies could really cook. Best pan fried chicken, gravy and bisquits I ever had.
I corrected the date.
Paul E. Smith
Ya know, Sundance, you’re pretty darn good-lookin’ for a 133-plus year old man! Must be your insistence on eating quality food that accounts for that…
The definition of quality is all over the board. If you ask 100 people what the definition of quality is, you would probably get 100 different answers.
Can you get a quality burger for $1.00? The answer would have to be yes as the $1.00 burger would be competing with other $1.00 burgers, not more expensive ones.
I use to own a furniture manufacturing plant where I employed about 50 people. This was in 1970. I made a sofa and chair upholstered and delivered for $40. You might ask the question, how could quality exist? I manufactured it to the highest allowable quality for that price. I had to make about a 1,000 of these units per month to make it.
In my opinion quality can be measured many different ways, but it coveres everything from employee attitudes, employee dress, cleanliness of restroooms, appearance of the restaurant, taste of the food, safety of the food, customer service. Any price of food can compete in all of these categories. The lower the price, the more they have to sell (volume).
Unfortunately what happens is that when volume falls particularly in the smaller restaurants, they have to cut quality to survive. That is where the patrons are the victum and are subjected to possible food contamination, unclean environment, poor service and unhappy employees.
I am a strict stickler for all of the ingredients of good quality. I do not under any circumstances no matter how good the food patronize restaurants that I perceive to violate my standards.
I would like to hear the roadfood posters experience with what you perceive poor quality and good quality.
Paul E. Smith
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