6 Ways Halal Eateries Lose their Customers
6 Ways Halal Eateries Lose their Customers. Twenty years ago it was okay if my family and I would go to a squalid halal eatery, scramble to the cleanest table and sit on wobbly chairs. The food was good, the service was warm and family-esque, and the price was on the low-end of economical. The only complaint you would hear from us is if our portions were small. Even if we didn’t like the taste as much, if our plates were stacked high, our lips were sealed.
Such was our dining out experiences. We would rarely try a new place unless my parents heard rave reviews from friends we trusted and who’s opinion we valued. There was no BlogTO, Urbanspoon, Zabihah or Halal Foodie 😉
This was a reflection of our economical and social position in the late 80’s and early 90’s (of course, everyone has their own opinion based on their own experiences).
Today, we operate quite differently. The general public is more adventurous, our expectations are higher, we want the same standards that our first, second, third and fourth-generation Canadian friends have grown up with expecting. But have halal eateries caught up? Quite frankly — no.
1. When all that glitters is gold-plated
False advertising. If someone wants to “borrow” an image off of Google and use it for their menu board or website, I hope they at least try to make sure it’s a reflection of what someone will experience. There’s no bigger let down than expecting a giant juicy burger with fresh colourful toppings and getting a sad grey burger with limp, lifeless lettuce and scant condiments instead.
Or, even worse, when the restaurant starts off with a bang, then letting the restaurant life get to them, they start to lose the passion needed to run a great restaurant. I completely understand how difficult it is to own and operate a restaurant but there are fundamental reasons why one should open one in the first place.
2. When quantity trumps quality
I notice when my meat is not prime (even when it says it is on the menu), I also notice when food is reheated, thawed then cooked, or when a restaurant is serving leftovers from the day before. It’s obvious to me and it’s obvious to many others as well.
3. When Oscar the Grouch starts to look like a saint
We have all experienced the defensive yet inadequately verbose owner/manager/staff member who will scowl, glare and even snarl at you for asking for anything other than what’s on the menu. Nothing is ever their fault – they just want your money, and then they want you out. No soup for you!
4. When the prices fluctuate faster than they do at the gas station
They open their doors, make the prices as appealing as possible and if they catch a wave with a good dish, prices slowly (or sometimes rather quickly) will start to increase. The savvy restaurant goer will notice, but then are usually scared off when the restaurant owner also happens to be a grouch (see above).
5. When the restaurant is stuck in a time capsule
Although I appreciate the nostalgia, if you haven’t changed a lick despite your popularity and haven’t made changes to improve the quality of your dishes, atmosphere or even water safety issues in the past 10 years, I’m not going to want to come back unless your food tastes amazing.
6. When the restaurant staff is racist – to their own race
This one gets me every time. It’s like we all don’t have enough issues in the world, we now have to deal with the internal complexes of people who have ingrained stereotypes of everyone and their mother. Their own mother — literally.
I might have turned a blind eye as a naive 10-year-old 20 years ago, but today, I’m not impressed at the amount of halal eateries that don’t want to accept change. Aside from the fact that I just aged myself in the last sentence, I’m happy to have this off my chest 🙂
What are some ways that halal eateries turn you off?