Today, Daniel redeemed his "Date with Mom" coupon to go out to dinner at a restaurant of his choice. For Christmas I gave the boys an album filled with coupons to do different things with me during the year. Since Tim is at a U2 Conference in Cleveland and Michael is at Magic Mountain with a friend, Daniel thought it would be a great time to use one of his choices. I had to veto his first choice of Chuck E. Cheese, but his second choice was more acceptable.
Daniel likes Sweet Tomatoes even though he is a picky eater. He almost made it through the salad buffet with only croutons on his plate, but I told him he had to choose a vegetable. He plopped down some shredded carrots.
Next, he got a bowl of chicken noodle soup and a baked potato with some jello cubes on the side for variety.
Then he ended with dessert: soft serve and caramel sauce.
Sitting in the restaurant, I had to put on my MBA cap and make a few observations. Expectedly, with food prices and economy, the pickings in the salad bar have been slimmed down over the last couple of years. There were many employees visible, but most were not really doing anything productive. They looked like they were busy, walking around the floor and talking amongst themselves, but the counters were spilled and messy and the food was not being refilled very fast. We were there before the dinner crowd, so this is somewhat alarming. The condition of the restaurant is disappointing as well. The wall dividers are pretty disgusting and overall, it just looks like it needs a good cleaning.
With prime location and high traffic area, management is able to overlook these shortcomings and still squeak out a profit. If I was an investor, I would look for a tighter ship and higher standards. I guess in a sense I'm an investor; I just choose to invest elsewhere for dining. Unless, of course, my son wants to have a date with me there.