Writing a restaurant review is very different from writing a food review. The entire process is like narrating a story that begins when you hear about the restaurant and ends when you eat, pay the bill, and leave its premises. A restaurant is not just about food, it’s about the overall ambiance, courteousness, comfort, and the satisfaction you receive as a customer.
You have to notice everything that comes along with the restaurant’s name. How did you end up knowing about the place? The things you’ve heard, the expectations you’ve had, the thoughts that filled your head when you entered the location and other things―setting, decor, staff, waiting time, serving time, billing time, price range, varieties in the menu, and everything else that is involved―that did or didn’t leave an impression on you. The following section gives you some essential points you must keep in mind to write a helpfully obligating restaurant review.
Essential Tips for Writing a Restaurant Review
When writing a review, that too of a place whose efficiency is marked by its ability to pamper its customers and compel them to associate the finest experience of dining with this place alone, you must ensure that you cover each and every aspect of this place sufficiently. You must begin with its background―what made you visit it? What was the vibe you got when you entered it; how was the staff and the crowd? Did the restaurant have a unique appealing factor to it, or was it as good as the other ones? Yes, there are a lot of things that you must cover, but there is no need to get intimidated by the process. The following points will help you get it just right.
Hide Your Reviewer’s Status
You don’t want them to get even the slightest idea that you’re here to scrutinize their place! A minimal doubt is enough for them to bestow some extraordinary services and gestures that an average customer will never be able to get, thus, making your review a total sham. To be more convincing, it is always better to go with a friend, preferably someone who knows his/her food and everything else that comes along with it. Let them think you’re on a date, while you’re busy remembering the events of this place on this date!
The Writing Order to Follow
Never ever take notes or do anything that warns the restaurant staff of who you are. But, it is also important to precisely remember how your experience is progressing throughout. This includes everything from the restaurant’s background knowledge to the present events.
- How easily accessible is the location? Is the neighborhood friendly?
- How did the ambiance and atmosphere of the place make you feel―warm, casual, opulent, or ordinary?
- Were the tables booked? If no, how long did you have to wait to get one?
- Was the staff courteous? Were the tables set properly, the linens clean and well-put?
- Did the menu give you a lot of options, was it stimulating enough for a food lover’s appetite?
- Was the staff well-dressed and well-trained? Did the server know of the food and ingredients in the menu?
- How long did it take to serve the food? Was it sufficiently warm, or served cold? How were the portions? Were the flavors, ingredients, and presentation up to the mark?
- The atmosphere, service, and the food combined, is it worth the money you ended up spending?
These were the basic steps on how to write a restaurant review. The next points will tell you what makes a review, a good one.
Use the Right Descriptive Words
A restaurant is like a story with characters, plots, and has the power to influence your mind to either love it or leave it. Therefore, your review should be a descriptive one. Understand that as a writer, you must be successful in putting across intangible feelings that a fine dining experience brings about. Use lots and lots of descriptive words, but in the right manner.
For instance, ‘flavorsome’ may be used for something delicious and pleasing to the taste, but also for something that is aversive to the mouth! Instead, using words like delectable, scrumptious, heavenly, toothsome, and the like―that too if used when the food has the power to actually make you feel that you’ve indulged in supernal cuisine―is more appropriate.
Keep It Real, Don’t Exaggerate!
Most reviewers tend to go overboard when it comes to criticism. Just because the waiter accidentally spilled a drop of wine while pouring your glass, doesn’t make it a bad restaurant! While you are not expected to give a neutral feedback too, try not to make it your prime motive to rip off the eatery’s reputation unless your words do not reflect sheer exaggeration! If you expected the waiter to refill your glass as soon as you consumed the last sip, and he came after a minute, don’t write that the waiters didn’t bother to keep a tab on your drink and that you had to call them and wait for 20 minutes to get a refill. Trust us when we say, exaggeration in any review is very easy to detect.
Personalize, Don’t Over-personalize!
We did mention this right at the beginning, didn’t we? Your review must have your personality in it. You’re not writing about shares; you’re talking about food and comfort, which is personal and emotional. However, make sure that you stick to the restaurant, and not yourself. Potential customers don’t want to know if you were underdressed or overdressed, if your perfume went well with the ambiance, or if your car broke out while reaching the place! Talk about the restaurant. How did it look from outside―friendly, spooky, or divine? The artwork, interior, music, hospitality―was it enough to make you feel like a royal? Remember, it is the restaurant’s review, not yours!
Enumerate the Pros and Cons
Every coin has two sides; even the not-so-good restaurants will have something good in their kitty. You need to balance out the events and divide them into the favorable and not-so-favorable section. For instance, if the food took longer than expected to reach your plate, but it tastes like something you’ve never eaten in a long time, purely gratifying and divine, stirring your senses and making each bite enjoyable, it is worth the wait, isn’t it? There are these places you see, where diners willingly wait to indulge in a cuisine they know is absolutely out of this world. On the other hand, if the delivery is super fast, but that doesn’t do anything else except for satiating your hunger with some ordinary flavors, you wouldn’t consider that to be unique, would you?
Evaluate the Value for Money
The best things in life are free … well, not always! While a divine dining experience cannot be measured in monetary terms, but at the end of the day, what you get should be worth what you spend. Evaluate it well so that you can help the future customers decide their budget accordingly.
Note every element, billed and unbilled―the complimentary drinks, chocolates, bread, cookies, sauces, etc. The staff’s efforts to make you feel special and appreciated, the band that did its best to relax your mood and enjoy the time spent―make sure all these things are taken into consideration before you move on to the next step.
Set Down the Final Verdict
In most cases, your final verdict would be the only thing people would actually pay attention to. It would be better if the basis of your decision is clear to the readers. For example, you could write something like, “If a good restaurant is all about atmosphere and décor, and not about exquisite food, this place is definitely bang on. However, not a compelling recommendation for those who drive in for delectable cuisines more than anything else.” Or, “It is a nice place to sweep your lady love off her feet, but it’ll also sweep off your entire wallet along.” Be as honest and transparent with the readers while passing your final judgment.
On a final note, don’t forget to mention what you ate, or if the place is known for a specialized cuisine. Remember, the reason you’re reviewing a restaurant in the first place is to help other food lovers decide if they should consider taking out some time to visit a place, which like every other place, claims to be the best. The fact that you arrange it chronologically just helps the readers relate to your overall experience, and associate with your verdict. We believe this task to be among the noblest tasks ever. Do it with all your heart and sincerity, and let the worthy eateries be the most crowded ones. Bon appétit!