Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Food Review 4: Standard Restaurant Grading System

This restaurant grading system will allow one to give judgments on a restaurant in the most objective view. It applies to restaurant visits solely and is named Standard Restaurant Grading System, SRGS.

Food:
The appeal of food is one of the main drawing factors and purpose of visiting a restaurant and perhaps the most important and fundamental factor to consider when marking a grade for a restaurant. This consists of several sub factors which are:

Taste- freshness, flavour, texture, aftertaste

Freshness is especially important and any self-respecting restaurant will try to use fresh ingredients for cooking, which directly affects the outcome of the food served with disregard of the skill of the chef. Not only that, the use of fresh ingredients should ensure the safety of one's health as well.
The knowledge of seasonal ingredients is essential to ensure the best quality of ingredients at that time of the year. Unfortunately for tropical Singapore's case, the application of seasonal ingredients is relatively limited.
Flavour, texture and aftertaste will come under one sub-factor. When the taste buds in that order. One will taste the flavour, how salty, how sweet, whether it is honey-sweet or sugary-sweet. After that texture is felt, whereby the teeth and the tongue will feel for the appropriate hardness or softness. The aftertaste gives a feeling of what the food left behind in the mouth; some soothing, some do not exist, some sickly.

Technicality- well-cooked , temperature

No food should be overcooked nor undercooked and should satisfy the customor's need, especially for game dishes. Temperature of food served is crucial as it directly affects the taste and freshness of the food being served. Using pre-heated tableware is a bonus to ensure food is kept at the optimum temperature for maximum time.

Appearance- smell, display, cleanliness

Sense of smell also plays a part in the overall experience in a restaurant. A exciting, colourful display is sure to whet the appetites of the hungry customer and provides a visual experience as well. The function of clean utensils needs little explanation.

Creativity- combination of ingredients, method of cooking

Cooking not only only test one's cooking techniques, but also employs the great use of creativity. Background knowledge is crucial so that creative combination of ingredients or method of cooking will not result in disastrous result. The experience of a chef comes into play as well.

Quantity-

Too much or too little affects the customer's mood, although this may be due to the customer's own fault.

Service:
Service can indirectly affects the customer's mood and his 5 senses which will determine the overall experience.

Politeness-

A smile and a gesture of welcome can brighten up a customer's mood immediately. Similarly, a rude waitress can ruin the entire restaurant's reputation, such as ignoring the or showing favouritism or engaging in handphone activities rather than focusing attention on the right stuff. A simple 'Sorry' or 'Thank you' cannot be look down upon.

Promptness-

Serving the customer timely and disallowing customers to have unnecessary waiting, counts in as well.

Answer to needs-

The ability to satisfy customer's need, such as extra servings or request for well-done beef can be the deciding factor on the quality of the aspect of service.

Ambience:
A self-conscious restaurant will take note of the little details and the build up of their restaurant.

Music-

Live music will certainly be appealing. If not available, blasting the appropriate music at the suitable volume is to ensure that waiters can hear the customers properly. It can also affect one's mood.

Lighting-

Lighting not only creates ambience but also allow customer to see what food they are eating or whether they need any sunglasses.

Air-conditioning-

In tropical tiny Singapore, most people would prefer the well-cooled environment. Blaring the air-conditioned directly on customer does not work too well. The great use of fans could come in handy, for example, can harmonise with an old colonial ambience.

Hygience-

From finger markings on glass windows, to litter on the floor, to flies and cockroaches and especially vomit-inducing toilets are not good examples of how hygience should be.

Uniform-

This can exudes the characteristics of the restuarant, whether it is formal or funky. They should complement each other.

Menu-

Easy reading, with clear price list, with a well-designed menu, will ensure customer's satisfaction.

Architecture-

Design of the interior or the exterior can lure passing people and convert them into customers. It can certainly bring in the 'wow' factor if the restaurant is well designed. Materials used is a key point to consider.

Overall:
Other determining minor factors would be accessibility, parking spaces, advertising and quality and quantity of crowds.
As an overall experience, the three main factors play more or less equal roles. One of the another important factor will be the 'Price Vs Quality' theory which shall be discussed soon. The 'Quick Restaurant Grading System' will be on in the next issue if you find this guide too comprehensive.

2 Comments:

Anonymous steven said...

erm the pt of this post is...? frankly, i really dunno y there is this write-up on blah blah grading sys...
when im hungry, everything goes... wahahaha=D

12/7/05 16:26  
Anonymous dev! said...

*yawnz*

OOPS! *looks around*

Sorry! ;P

13/7/05 19:41  

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