Sure. Your food is good. Some of the best restaurants in the world are located in San Francisco. It’s the reason we chose this area for our honeymoon. But…there’s a real problem here and a lesson could be learned from Florida’s hospitality. We’re here to help, with the top ten things San Francisco could do to be a more friendly dining destination.
1. Stop trying so hard. Everything doesn’t have to have 15 ingredients in it to sound tasty on the menu.
2. Tell chefs that staying open from 5:30pm to 10:00pm on weekdays/nights is not enough time for a lot of people to dine. Bankers’ hours are longer than that.
3. Stop putting surcharges on the bill. You make money like every other successful business. Take care of your employees. We tip them, it’s your job to pay for their benefits.
4. If you are a restaurant in California, I expect to see California wines on the menu. I’m insulted when I see only European wines.
5. If you don’t have parking, get a valet service! Don’t make me drive in circles to eat at your establishment.
6. If I’m going to take something home from a prepared food place, don’t charge me for a paper bag. It’s not plastic and I don’t carry around canvas bags “just in case”.
7. Be more pet-friendly. Have seating for people who want to bring their dogs when they go out.
8. Have more outdoor dining. (See #7)
9. Local focus on local ingredients is conspicuously absent on menus. If you have time to print a daily menu, you have time to tell us where the food came from.
10. There’s no statement on menus by restaurants on GMOs. Why not? It’s no wonder Proposition 37 failed without more support by local restaurants.
The bottom line is tremendous, imaginative, cutting-edge food is not enough for me without more thought being put into how customers are treated.
This public service has been provided by yours truly from the tourism capital of the world: Florida.
Elizabeth Dougherty has been a food writer for over 10 years, attended culinary school and holds a Bachelor’s degree, Magna Cum Laude in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations from NYIT. She has been a talk show host of nearly 200 episodes of Food Nation Radio which airs each Saturday afternoon at 4 on WWBA AM820 News and other stations. You can read her articles and hear previous shows on her podcast page on the Food Nation Radio Network website and on Facebook.