A common way restaurants gain desired attention from prospective customers is through online review sites such as TripAdvisor, Google and Facebook. If you ever chat to our S2 staff you may be asked how you found us. 9 times out of 10 the answer is TripAdvisor or Google. We always place a lot of importance on our online reviews, as its primarily expand our customer base and reach out to all. While dining with us, you may have been asked to give us a review. We only ask if we're certain you'll review us well! It means a lot to us. Many of our S2 team browse the latest reviews after their busy lunch and dinner shifts. It's rewarding to us to hear your feedback to know if we're doing well or... need improvement.
Here's an S2 insight: we train our S2 newbies to introduce themselves to new customers, so they can feel like they have something to come back to and enjoy each shift. When a customer reviews us online and gives one of our staff a special mention, we make sure we let the whole S2 team know so everyone can congratulate them. It's all about recognising the efforts of our team.
Why bother to write a review? Well... how would you have found us and our delicious food if people hadn't been posting their dining experiences? Social Street S2 has quite a unique community of foodies and restaurant-goers. People can share their experiences and love for our dishes. There's many times I notice the glistening excitement in someone's manner when they share their love for Social Street. "Oh Social Street!? I love that place! Best Thai food out!". Reviewing restaurants contributes to the foodie community that Adelaide is renowned for. Another great aspect (or not so great depending on your nature) is that anyone can review. Anyone is able to publish their opinion for others to see. This can be an upside and a downfall for us businesses.
Reviewing your dining experiences also allows you to be more mindful and aware of your culinary outings. Eating and indulging in food should be more than a mindless activity. You're dining with us to have a sensory and tasteful experience, and we want to give you that. Appreciate the surroundings of the restaurant, the appearance of the food, the smell of the kitchen, the texture of the spring rolls on your fingers... you'll learn to acknowledge every aspect of the meal.
How do you write a restaurant review? The key is to hone in on all aspects of the experience; the ambiance, the serving staff, the food, while also bundling the experience together as a whole.
Lighting: dim /overpowering / bright
Music: suitable / repetitive / too complex / too bassy / too loud / too soft
Temperature: stuffy / breezy
Furniture: comfortable / attractive / clean
Although these elements do make the ambience of a restaurant, it is ultimately how they combine to make you feel as you're dining. When you step into the restaurant does it feel...
relaxing / comforting / exciting / tiring / gross / inviting / cultural / warm / authentic / dangerous / dull / exotic
Acknowledging how waitstaff approach and treat customers is always a key mention in restaurant reviews. They are there to be part of the experience, of course. Always be mindful that these people serving you are human beings and should always be treated and mentioned in reviews with that in mind. A bad day is not always a valid excuse but it can always be acknowledged for busy hospitality workers. Be lenient with new workers as well, they need to start somewhere. With that in mind, key points to look for in serving are:
Attentiveness - do they notice when you may need something?
Knowledge of the menu and specials - are they good with recommending dishes?
Personality - are they willing to share their personality with you? - this works both ways, so be an open person
Efficiency - do they wait on your table with efficiency? - factor in the balance between waitstaff and other diners
Professional - do the waitstaff act in a professional manner?
The favourite part of my dining experiences... inspecting the menu! Anticipation is running through everyone's starving bellies, which can commonly lead to over-ordering. Look for menu appearance, readability, drinks menu, how much the dishes make you salivate and yes... pricing.
There's a lot to cover in the most important stage of all. It's what you came for, it's hopefully what will bring you back and lead you to write a loving review. Once again, use the mindfulness technique to cover all aspects of your sensory food experience. Use all five senses...
Looks - bright? colourful? variety of colours? aesthetic appeal? decorations? garnishes?
Smell - does the smell make your stomach grumble and your mouth salivate? can you smell the elements of your dishes?
Sounds - can you hear it sizzling like our S2 sizzling squid?
Touch - how is the texture?
Here's the big one... taste:
saltiness / sweetness / bitterness / spiciness / smokiness / tartness
How flavoursome is the dish? Look and describe the depth of flavour and the combination of flavours.
Creaminess / crunchiness / crumbliness / moistness / dryness / chewiness
Think about how flavour and texture combine within the food, focusing on the balance of all these tastes. There's no way to go wrong in explaining your meal, because it's how you taste and experience it. Just as long as you explain and substantiate your opinions.
How quickly does your food come out? Remember this varies depending on what dishes you've ordered, and whether there are more people also dining. Have the dishes come out all together?