Friday Food Blogging June 12, 2009Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, Food and Drink.
Tags: restaurant service in the U.S., Technorati Tags: Zagats
Over the years that we’ve spent surveying hundreds of thousands of diners, one fact becomes clear: Service is *the* weak link in the restaurant industry. How do we know? Roughly 70% of all complaints we receive relate to service. Collectively, complaints about food prices, noise, crowding, smoking, and even parking make up only 30%. Moreover, the average rating for food on our 30-point scale is usually two points higher than the average rating for service. Given the fact that identical people are voting, and that there are hundreds of thousands of them, this deficit is dramatic.
I find this surprising. To my mind, restaurants usually fail because of the food. Although there have been some exceptions, I find service in restaurants to be OK, not great but nothing to ruin the meal. When I feel I have been ripped off, it is usually because the food was poorly prepared, over-priced, or just uninteresting.
I’m sure the Zagats’ numbers are correct—they after all are experts on diner’s opinions. But I also suspect that either (1) many diners are blaming the wait staff for problems that occur in the kitchen, or (2) many diners just don’t pay much attention to the food.