At the recommendation of several people, I dined at a nearby restaurant last week. The positive reviews of the place were not based on the menu – the choices were, to say the least, uninspiring – but rather on the fact that it was locally owned and operated. I was supporting the community by going, they said.
Whether it was due to being short-staffed or simply the result of poor organization, the restaurant had a very odd way of dealing with its customers. Once the restaurant was full – or, I should say, 59.1% full – all of our orders were taken. But instead of bringing us each what we ordered, it seems the cooks were only prepared to make one dish that evening. So they picked the dish chosen by the largest number of people, and served that to everyone.
My understanding is that the restaurant is suffering from declining business, each night filling fewer and fewer seats. Some in the community view this as evidence that people lack appreciation by not supporting a local business, and have taken to haranguing others to fulfill their duty by eating there regardless of what is served. I’m more inclined to listen to those who say there is little point in dining out if you don’t get what you order. After all, just about every other restaurant in town has got this figured out by now.