Monday, February 7, 2011

Rant: X-Rated Menus?

X-rated menus really irritate me.

One of the first impressions a customer has of a restaurant is the menu. It is like the gateway into a restaurant, presenting a list of their offerings, both food and drink.  Not all menus are the same, and there are some potential pitfalls.  A menu might be too large, confusing the consumer with its multitude of choices.  A menu might be too vague or puzzling, requiring the customer to ask numerous questions of the server.  But, there is one problem which may the most significant, the "x-rated" menu.

By "x-rated" I simply mean a "dirty" menu, something unclean.  A menu that is stained, sticky, or crusted with unidentifiable bits of food is a major turnoff.  It speaks poorly of the restaurant and makes you question all of their sanitary ways. It starts off the entire meal in a very bad light.  It is usually obvious that these menus have been that way for some time, and not that it is a temporary aberration. Especially when the menu is stained in multiple places.  It seems that some of the more plastic coated menus are the worst offenders, the ones which get the most sticky.

Restaurants need to have a system in place to check their menus, to ensure they remain relatively clean.  That system needs to check the menus frequently because of the importance of having clean menus. First impressions are very important, and a dirty menu can color a customer's entire experience.  Even if everything else is good, the memory of that dirty menu will remain.  And no restaurant wants to leave their customers with any bad impressions.

It is strange as this seems like such an easy thing, maintaining clean menus.  And the plastic menus, which are the easiest to clean, seem to be the worst offenders.  So why don't all restaurants pay attention to this potential problem?  Do they think it is a minor issue, something relatively unimportant?  Do they think their customers will ignore the crusty food and sticky liquids?  Wake up and pay attention!  This is not a problem that a restaurant can afford to ignore. 

I want my food to be in my plate, not on the menu.

No comments: