“Husband… do you want to check out that new Halal Thai place for our anniversary dinner…?” “Sorry dear wife… I had a work lunch there. The owners and waiters are huge Dutch-bags.” “Okay… what about Iqbal’s… that Indian place across from it?” “Uhhh… food tastes like cardboard there and that might be insulting to cardboard.” “Ugh… fine… what about Hussain’s Hamburgers?” “Just called… the mice have taken over the kitchen… lots of screaming in the background.”
That’s the story of every typical Muslim restaurant. You want to take your spouse out to someplace nice and something Halal? Tough beans. Every Muslim restaurant sucks for one reason: none of them have achieved the Triforce of Awesomeness.
Restaurant Triforce of Awesomeness
Good Food, Good Ambiance, Good Customer Service
The best I’ve seen are two out of three. It’s like you can only pick two and have to make a sacrifice on something critical… and end up with:
This is obviously the backbone of the food biz. It doesn’t matter how nice the owners are or how spiffy the place looks… if the food sucks the restaurant has no chance of surviving. Unless people enjoy the experience of throwing up or wanting food poisoning so they can get out of work or a midterm… that could be a viable business to be in.
You have to see if the restaurant passed the Little-Kid-Test: “Can a 3-year old kid make something better?” If he/she can then major props… you have just discovered a child prodigy in cooking… a future culinary aficionado.
Or perhaps the 3-year old has mastered the Delicious-Cakes-Oven-Set-For-Kids… where they make cookies and cakes out of inedible clay Play-Doh. And when Play-Doh Cake tastes better than actual food that raises a giant black flag… with skull and crossbones on it.
On the flip side, if you’re insulted by this whole Little-Kid-Test because you are, in fact, a 3-year old then I would have to say: you have amazing reading skills for a 3-year old and I’m honored you’d waste your immense genius reading this site. Also: finish your potty training.
Speaking of potty training, I’ve been to Muslim restaurants that are so nasty on the inside it actually makes public restrooms in gas stations look like a five star hotel. It’s absolutely stunning how some places are somehow evading the health inspectors… or secretly kidnapping them. If you are a health inspector and need to go into a Muslim restaurant: I’d advise a career shift.
Sure, the food is somehow decent and the owners are nice… but it’s definitely not a place you want to take to impress important superiors like your boss or mother-in-law. Yeah… I mean the only way to make things taste better is to close your eyes while you scarf down that shwarma so you can ignore that cockroach on the wall or that creepy guy checking you out.
With a little effort from the restaurant owner, ambiance can really liven up the place. Outstanding ambiance will elevate everything… and can even make mediocre food taste like your spouse (or spouses).
Bad Customer Service
Ah, the unfortunate trademark to almost every Muslim restaurant experience. Yes, your restaurant might make good food. Yes, your restaurant might have a nice atmosphere. But if you have the personality of a thumbtack then you shouldn’t be in the restaurant business. Our Muslim factor should actually win the restaurant a “Friendlist staff” award but instead I find a lot of Muslims restaurants on Trip Advisor for bogus awards like: “Manager Most Likely to Make you Cry” or “Sabr award: Kept me waiting for 1.5 hours for appetizers”.
I have been to places where I ordered something and the manager would yell at me, saying that I had ordered incorrectly. I genuinely felt terrible like I did something wrong and would eat my dinner quietly and guiltily. I’d look over my shoulder every few minutes hoping the cops wouldn’t come because the way manager yelled at me it’s almost as if I murdered someone.
I’m sorry that I asked for ketchup after I ordered, sir. I’m sorry for asking for a cup of water rather than buying that $4.00 water bottle, sir. And I’m sorry that you heard me say that I ordered whole wheat when you 100% can guarantee that I ordered white bread, making sure the whole restaurant knows about my wrongfulness with your melodious yelling.
A lot of factors make customer service really unpleasant.
Appetizers served after dessert? Terrible. Waiter hovering around you with puppy-dog eyes when you pay for the bill? Awkward. Manager interrupting a private dinner to ask about your sister’s availability? Really awkward. Manager interrupting a private dinner to ask about your wife’s availability? Extremely awkward.
Restaurant Triforce of Suckiness
Bad Food, Bad Ambiance, Bad Customer Service
Very rarely, a restaurant exists that sucks at everything.
If you know a place like this that exists, chances are, it’s probably being shut down as you read this.