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What's luck got to do with it?

The pleasure my partner Barbara gets from dining out—relaxing, being waited on, and experiencing new culinary delights—are often lost on her husband, who prefers to eat at home.

After ten years of debates on whether to dine in or dine out, she asked Charlie to compile a Top 10 List of reasons why he'd rather eat at home. I thought I might list them here for you because I know Charlie's not alone. As a matter of fact, I share many of his sentiments.

More and more of the "dining out" dollar is being spent on take-out, delivery, and other prepared foods for eating at home. Perhaps we can make some adjustments and create environments that are more attractive to the chronically "culinarily" challenged.

Top 10 Reasons It's Better To Eat In Than To Eat Out...

  1. Second helpings
  2. My music, my way
  3. No waiting for a table
  4. Parking is never a problem
  5. Leftovers
  6. Hot food hot/Cold food cold
  7. Reasonably priced wine
  8. Don't have to get into a car to go to bed
  9. I'm always appropriately dressed
  10. I can impose a "time-out" on screaming or misbehaving kids

Doesn't sound unreasonable, does it? And while I'm not certain what we can do about #8, most of these issues can be addressed to the satisfaction of our customers.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you offer safe and accessible parking?
  • Do your portions have a good price/value relationship?
  • Are your servers trained to provide friendly and consistently good service?
  • Do you have a quality guarantee that your food is always the freshest?
  • Are you aware of potential turn-offs like loud music, crying children or long waits?

Don't leave it up to luck. Make sure your customers know they can "make themselves at home" in your restaurant.

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