Sunday, November 3, 2013

What to do when a neighbourhood restaurant is not doing well?

I am in a quandary, I would prefer not to post a nasty review of a restaurant on this blog but do I do when a restaurant seems to just have given up?   I only have one restaurant within 500 meters of my home, at 750 meters there are five more.  It means if I want to eat out quickly I only have one place, it is unfortunate it is no longer a serious choice for eating.

The place I speak of is a restaurant I used to go to very regularly when it was well done and had good food but it has not been very good for sometime.   The fact it has become mediocre means I now only rarely go there. I went there last night with my son and I was underwhelmed.

There was a time when it was really hard to get a seat at this restaurant between 6 pm and 7:30 pm.   You could not park because every space was filled.  This is no longer the case.   On a Saturday night at 6 pm the restaurant was more than half empty.

The price has risen much faster than the rate of inflation over the last nine years, more than a 50% increase since I have lived here.  If the quality had remained as it was at its best this would not be that much of an issue, but the quality is sub par.   The food is bland and greasier than I would normally expect.   I could make better at home and have only come here to avoid cooking.

The big thing I noticed this time is how grimy the place has become.   The tables have small plastic displays for a liquor product.   I grabbed one to read more closely and it was greasy.  Not just a bit dirty but really greasy.   There were two on our table and both of them were unhygienic.  I looked around the restaurant and saw this was the norm.  How do you even manage to get these plastic displays this dirty?  Why would you not make sure they are not clean???

It made me look more closely at the restaurant and I noticed that cleanliness over all was lacking.   I could see caked up dirt in the corners of the floor.  The carpet was not very clean - it is also threadbare in a way that says there is no interest in trying to be the best that it can be.

I looked at the VIHA report for the restaurant and see that it has had some issues over the last year, only one very serious, but that one concerns me.  It is easy for most places to have a couple of minor violations but to see an ongoing trend worries me

So I have low quality food, a sense that cleanliness is not #1 and a general sense of tiredness and not trying very hard.   I would like to eat locally, bit I am not going to pay over the odds for food that is not well done in a place that looks less than ideally clean.

So, should I go talk to them and tell my concerns?    Part of my thinks I should but another part has not time for the possible confrontation that might arise.

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