1. Consistency. I have often returned to a restaurant for a dish I enjoyed a lot only to find the dish prepared differently the second time, and wasn’t as good. Things don’t have must be exactly the same every day, but they should be very close.
2. The pictures in the menu should look like the dish served. There is a little place close by my house that has a pork stir fry with red and green peppers pictured on the menu. I have ordered it 3 times. Once it was served with apples instead of peppers, once with nothing but pork and garlic and garnished with green peppers, and once it was served with hot red peppers. All were good, but none were what I expected.
3. A restaurant should have good acoustics. If the dining room is not crowded and someone clanks a dish it should not echo around the room. And if the dining room is crowded, it should not have a din so loud that people have to raise their voices to hear each other.
4. Ingredients should always be fresh. Brown ends and spots should be removed from vegetables before being served.
5. The owner of the restaurant needs to be present as much as possible. The best trained manager will never do as good a job overseeing as the owner.
6. The best location for a restaurant is on a busy street at street level. (I am a people watcher).
7. The employees should be friendly to returning customers, but not too friendly.
8. The waiters should be attentive to the customers, but not too attentive. When a waiter walks by a table he should discretely look to make sure the tea glasses are filled and empty plates are cleared. But the waiter should not stand and stare at a table. It makes the diners feel like someone is looking over their shoulders and watching every move they make.
9. Sell good food at a fair price. Do not sell a “dining experience.” A trendy “dining experience” can go out of fashion. Good food at a fair price is always in style.
10. If your restaurant is in an area where there a lot of foreigners, someone who speaks English, even a little English, should always been on duty.
11. Choose the name of your restaurant carefully. Wang is English slang for penis.
12. Something is wrong with a dish, make sure you make things right. Happy customers return, unhappy customers don’t.
13. Keep w.c. very clean. No one wants to go to a smelly toilet and wash their hands in a dirty sink with dirty handles, then touch a dirty door knob before going back to eat.