Does a Restaurant Get a Grace Period?



A new restaurant opened with much excitement and anticipation in the community. Great casual dining concept, ideal location and owners experienced in the industry; a perfect combination for success? My first impression of the restaurant is that the décor looked great and there is an abundance of staff. The atmosphere is good, thanks to a wonderful water view. As we sat at the bar, however, three different people attempted to take my drink order—a vodka soda cranberry–that arrived with no cranberry juice. Another bartender had to correct the drink.

There appears to be no dining room sections and no system, which meant even with plenty of staff there is disorder and inefficiency in the bar as well as the dining room. The menu is extremely limited, which raised my expectation on what they did offer. When presented with a limited menu in a casual dining establishment, I assume the items are among the chef’s signature dishes.

When the food did arrive, it was tasteless and missing main ingredients listed in the menu descriptions. We watched countless other patrons complain to the manager/staff because of the same challenges we experienced. We chose to just ask for our check and leave without adding to the growing complaints. As it was their first week, we may return to see if they have improved after a grace period. I wonder what you all think if/should a first impression determine a restaurant’s long-term success?