Restaurants – A memorable experience

In my experience, there are two kinds of restaurants, those you eat in and those you dine at.

With restaurants you eat in, the primary considerations are convenience, taste, price and possibly health. If all four requirements are satisfied, there is every likelihood you’ll go back again.

More interesting to me however are those restaurants you dine at. Those restaurants need to offer something special. They need to offer something which makes them sufficiently memorable or distinctive to make you want to go back again and again. Furthermore, restaurants in my view are living proof of the adage that “there is an inverse relationship between how distinctive a product is and the level of marketing expenditure”

The more distinctive and memorable a restaurant is the less that restaurant needs to spend on marketing and communication.

The fact is however, the vast majority of Western Australian restaurants including those you eat in and those you dine at offer nothing memorable, nothing special and nothing which will make you want to go back there again. Indeed, whilst there are many adequate restaurants in Perth, I can’t think of more than five where I have walked out and thought I must go back there again.

When is the last time you came out of a restaurant and thought – “I must go back there again”?

More often than not you walk out thinking “OK that was alright the food was OK, the service was adequate, it wasn’t over the top in pricing….” but there was nothing special about it. Indeed, to my mind, that is what is wrong with hospitality in Western Australia – there is nothing special about it.

That is why so many restaurants struggle, that is why so many restaurants need to spend a bomb on communication and that is why so many restaurants go broke.

Why would I spend $100 a head to consume something which is not special served in a way that is not special in an environment that is interesting but not special in a timeframe that offers nothing special.

In my case I wouldn’t. That’s why I go back to the same restaurants over and over again and try to limit the frequency with which I trial new ones. Having said that, I have tried some new ones and most of them are average. They are not bad – they are just average and lack anything which makes them memorable.

Tell me an exception?

That’s what I say, what say you?