Enter If You Dare
Authored by Linda Peters-Getchell
A friend who loves kim chee had read a glowing review of a local Korean restaurant and could hardly wait to try it. We established a day and a time and met in the parking lot of the restaurant to go on in and enjoy an anticipated wonderful repast.
Greeting one another, we walked talking and laughing up to the front door. Neither of us said a word to one another about what we saw and what we thought as we approached the entryway. I wanted to leave, but the review was so good and my friend had so looked forward to the meal.
We were not in the greatest of neighborhoods to begin with so I was not expecting a four star restaurant, but I also was not expecting a creepy, very dirty entry and front door to greet me.
The restaurant from the outside was so non-descript, I drove by it three times before I realized that I was passing it. Non-descript is okay, but a front door of what I think was covered with stainless steel , or some sheet metal, that had lost its luster, had a corner peeling back, was covered (and I mean covered) with dirty fingerprints, sticky something or other (ugh) and sported dents galore. It looked as though it had been in a war zone. I cannot even remember the rest of the entry, the door was so, well, let’s say disgusting and leave it at that.
I braved it and walked on in to find a little family restaurant, clean, neat and simple. I felt better, but the front door was stuck in my mind, or my mind was stuck on the front door. The woman who waited on us was delightful, helpful and the food was fine. It is just that I kept seeing the front door, like I could taste it. I even ventured into the ladies room, which took courage after the front door. Much to my surprise it was not as I might have expected, it was clean and neat with the exception of the door (yes, it was covered with dirty finger prints from years of use).
It was not until we had walked out and were returning to our cars when my friend asked, “Did you notice that front door?”
We shared our feelings regarding that not-so-welcoming door, the fact that although the food was good and the service friendly, we both held the vision of that front door in our minds as we ate and it is a place we will never return to again only because of that front door that said, “Enter if you dare” rather than “Welcome.”
First impressions, sometimes you can even taste them as we did while we tried to enjoy our dinner.
Do your front doors get cleaned each day and your entryway checked for debris? Does your entryway and front door embrace your guests with a “WELCOME”?
Linda Peters-Getchell has 20 years in restaurant management and food and beverage customer service. She has owned her own restaurant and catering service, developed unique training programs and won two Key Player Awards for her customer service programs at Showboat Casino Hotel. She is currently a powerful creative force for restaurant expert David Scott Peters and his Smile Button Enterprises, serving as Fairy Godmother.