5 Things Restaurants Need to Say Goodbye To in 2023
A fresh new year is upon us. It’s a clean slate with a pie in the sky hopefulness for the future and an opportunity to say goodbye to the things we no longer want or need. There are plenty of things we all want to leave in the dust, but there are a few things that restaurants need to banish from existence as we collectively kick 2022 to the curb.
Drop the antiquated idea that the customer is always right. This phrase is said to have been popularized by Harry Gordon Selfridge back in 1909. That may have been the case for Mr. Selfridge and his fancy London department store 114 years ago, but times have changed. We can agree that the customer is always important, but there are far too many times when they are absolutely not right. This century-old way of thinking has created self-entitled customers who wrap the mantra around themselves like a flannel blanket on a chilly night. Let it go.
Crayons are something some restaurants give to families with children so the kids can occupy their time as they wait for their food. Kids these days have iPads, AirPods, and cell phones to stare at. Restaurants are struggling enough financially without having to provide Crayons too. Most of the time, kids draw on the wall or the table anyway, so stop giving them out and let parents shoulder the responsibility of keeping their kids entertained.
If customers want a half-regular, half-decaf, mochaccino made with almond milk and topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon and crushed peppermint, they should go to a coffee shop. The server at Applebee’s or the local Oyster Bar is not a professional barista. A cappuccino or espresso machine is one thing, but restaurants need to keep it simple when it comes time for customers to order. Servers don’t have time to create a macchiato masterpiece that the customer is probably going to be disappointed with anyway.
Can we please be finished with the little buzzers that tell customers when their table is ready? We have cell phones that can do that without having to hold a piece of plastic that lights up and vibrates like a toy from the 90s. Besides, those things must be the filthiest items in the restaurant, dirtier than the minds of even the most jaded of servers. Toss them out along with all your hopes and dreams from 2022.
As we leave the year behind, let’s leave Yelp there too. Too many people use it as a threat for better service. Or it’s used to “get even” with a restaurant or employee when a customer feels they’ve been slighted. Any yahoo can create a Yelp account to leave a one-star review with a very biased opinion. Then, the restaurant has to go into defense mode to keep its coveted Yelp rating. Face it, practically every restaurant has a rating on Yelp between 3-4 stars. Just assume that about all restaurants and then watch Yelp ride off into the sunset.
2023 is a chance for all of to make a change if we want to or to stay exactly the same. But I resolve that if restaurants switched it up a bit, it might make for a brighter year for both customers and employees.