Family Style Restaurants


Family Restaurants: What Draws Me There?
As new restaurants open in my area and people flock to them in droves, I’ve often wondered what it was about them that drew people there. Are they the same characteristics that draw me there? Is there that one little detail in one restaurant that edges it ahead just a little bit in my favor? So I set out on my journey to analyze two restaurants and find exactly how one manages to become my favorite. There are two restaurants in Morgantown, one of which I recommend highly, the other, not so much. Cheddars, a family style restaurants that serves just about anything, and Red Lobster, a seafood restuarent. Even though both are excellent, the short wait time, coupled with the pricing differences, and types of food being served, caused Cheddars to win out over Red Lobster.

When I go out to eat, the last thing I want is to wait in line for a half-hour or more to be seated, not counting the wait for food. My friend and I went to Red Lobster over the weekend, where we waited for forty-five minutes on a seat for “two.” I can only wonder about people in parties of four or more and how long they ended up having to wait for their table. If I wait that long to be seated, chances are that I won’t be back to that restaurant without, at the least, calling ahead and checking on wait times so I won’t be dissatisfied again.

On the other hand, last week I also went to Cheddars for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. I waited for not even ten minutes, and while waiting chatted with some other diners who informed me that the wait was never very long, even for parties of four or five. Now understandably, if I had been in a party of eight or more, I would’ve had to wait anywhere, unless I preferred fast-food that is. Seating in less than ten minutes, putting my order in already, gave me a positive outlook for the rest of my dining experience. I hate the feeling upon leaving a restaurant that I just spent my whole paycheck on my meal, yet I’m still hungry? I know I’ve had that feeling before. My dining experience at Red Lobster is my most recent experience. When I received my check, I was flabbergasted. How could two people have a check of over 50 dollars? What’s sad about the enormous check is I wasn’t full or satisfied with the meal. When I spend that much on a meal at a nice restaurant, I expect to be bursting at the seams. What restaurants don’t understand is the people look at the pricing, as well as, the portion sizes when choosing a restaurant to dine at.

Now Cheddars is a different story altogether. The portions are hefty, without it costing me an arm and leg to eat there. My whole family, including my brother-in-law, ate at Cheddars for under 80 dollars, and we’re a party of eight. Let me tell you also, I felt like a turkey on Thanksgiving by the time I was done eating. I now know to always request a to-go box. If you leave Cheddars hungry it’s your own fault. I will definitely be back to eat at Cheddars and my first experience there was most rewarding.

Some foods I only like to eat once in a while, and seafood is one of them. It seems like that’s pretty much all Red Lobster offers. I’m a once a month seafood type of person. Now if they would expand their menu to include more non-seafood choices for people who don’t care for it all the time, or just plain dislike it, they’d get more business. I mean how many kinds of shrimp do I want to try? Even all the appetizers have some type of sea creature in them. Examples are lobster pizza, crab spinach dip, etc. How could someone with a seafood allergy have a nice meal with their family there? My message to them, offer more sea-food free items, and I will darken their door more often.

As a breath of fresh air blows through your window, so is Cheddars. I could go there for a whole month and still not try everything on the menu. Anyone can find something to eat at Cheddars no matter how picky someone may be. With everything from burgers to steaks, chicken strips to fish fillets, Cheddars is a smorgasbord of choices. Cheddars also has special meal plans for dieters and people watching their sodium intake. I could never be bored over the menu at Cheddars, although like most people, I usually get the same thing every time.

Consequently, having a good wait staff is also a good quality when having a fine restaurant. Red Lobster, because being so busy, their wait staff is harried and overworked, making for longer wait times between appearances and less care in making sure your every need is met. Servers shouldn’t be given two many tables to handle, which causes them to fail at pleasing the customer. This causes servers and wait staff to sometimes be quite rude and unpleasant to the diners in the restaurant. I’ve also noticed that the wait staff at Red Lobster doesn’t go out of their way to make you feel at home. It’s because they have too much to do. Cheddars wait staff only has the workload that they can handle and they’re much more pleasant to be around, and you actually see them more often and can talk to them person-to-person without having to schedule an appointment. Being nice as a server, helps the server out, meaning their tip, as well as the diner, making sure they’ll be a returning customer, and what restaurant doesn’t want that?

Cheddars is by far the best restaurant out of the two, beating Red Lobster out every time. Quality food that fills you up without breaking your wallet wins every time, as well as making it affordable for anyone to go eat out. Not having to wait and having a large variety of food to choose from helps Cheddars edge out the competition almost every time. I would recommend Cheddars as a great dining experience anytime because my time there was enjoyable.

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