A restaurant is as good as what you order

During my stint at P&G, I was introduced to the concept of First Moment of Truth (whatever lures a buyer to try your product – marketing, recommendations, etc) and Second Moment of Truth (what makes him/her a repeat buyer – primarily product quality). I was reminded of this recently during a meet with my friends last weekend.

Sitting at Smoke House Deli, Promenade mall waiting for the yummy Flourless chocolate cake and Blueberry cheesecake to arrive; my eyes stopped on a handwritten board. It was divided into 3 columns – Must Try, Should Try and Must Have. In each column there were 3-4 dishes mentioned. I was curious, what’s the difference between these! Esp. Must Try and Must Have 🙂 On asking the confused waiter, he mentioned Must Have were Chef recommended and Must Try were popular ones. This made me think.

Most of the websites/marketing efforts that exist today do the best to tell you which restaurants to eat out at (focusing on First moment of truth). They rarely mention explicitly what to eat there (focusing on Second moment of truth).  Yes, there are customer reviews which have them, but it’s not always possible to dig into those. There are no top 5 things to eat, best Chicken dish, best vegetarian dish, etc. Given the long laundry list of menu’s that restaurants have, waiters not usually being too aware and difference between your personal favorites vs. restaurant specialty makes this a confusing choice which ends up frequently going wrong. And then we blame the restaurant is over-rated.

Giving some e.gs. Even though I hate paying to eat veg food the Paneer Makhani at Punjabi by Nature is not to be missed. If you end up ordering Malai Tikka at Punjabi by Nature you will think it’s over-rated, but order Kasturi kebab and it even turned my 99.9% vegetarian friend Sid into a carnivore. Similarly, not everything at Khan Chacha or Big Chill is the best.

So, here is a proposal to the Zomato’s, Burp’s of the world. You already have the Menu for most good restaurants around. How about converting that menu picture into database entries and have users (and then you can make it social etc. too) not just rate/review restaurants but dishes within them (esp. through a mobile app). To take it one level further, how about having the restaurants link their item wise sales to the most popular dishes at their place.

A restaurant is as good as what you order!