Everyone's a Critic

There are many rules to living single. Never close the door in the bathroom. Always force yourself to leave the house once day. Strike up a conversation with the people you are in line with. Act as if you are a food critic when eating alone.

That last rule is especially important tonight. My new neighborhood is full of great little places to eat and drink. Menus are imported from Asia, Europe, and England with a splash of American chains in-between. It’s exciting to have so many new places to try in walking distance.

From the outside tonight’s choice looks like a bar. On entry I find that this is one of those fancy places with cloth napkins. They are part of the citywide summer promotion to try new restaurants. They have a fixed menu at a fixed price to sample what they serve.

I walked from work and still dressed for the office. Do I look like someone who might review your establishment? The hostess was nice, that was a given. The waiter was pretty nice, that’s his job. But the chief? Yes, he stopped in and checked with me twice to discuss how everything was made. If he had done this at other tables, I might not have thought much about it, however I seemed to be of particular interest on a semi-busy night.

So how does one look like a critic? First, dine alone. Next, take notes on your iPad. Mine happened to be about ideas for a short story, but how will the staff know. Finally, watch the food network and drop key phrases into from the channel into conversation “lite”, “moist”, “airy”, “presentation”, “Jejune”.

It strikes me, over what might be the greatest carrot cake I have ever had tasted, that I am indeed a critic. Nearly everyone today is. What did I do once I got home? Write about my experience. (After working on social media all day you would think I would have made that connection earlier.) Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could grab that concept? Every customer is your critic. It is your job to make certain they have a great experience.