My Favorite Restaurant Served me the Worst Meal, but I Learned a Lot

When you are working a lot you are often eating out in a restaurant. I know it’s really easy to gain weight and lead such an unhealthy lifestyle. A few years ago I decided to change that and try to exercise more. My diet also had to change, obviously. I went from eating 100% junk food to eating mostly “clean” with a cheat meal here and there.

The number of my cheat meals usually increases if my training is good, especially during cold winter days. This isn’t that big of a deal as it motivates me to work out even harder and the food-loving part of my personality doesn’t suffer. Of course, you can’t out-train a bad diet, but I learned to live with the fact that I’ll probably never have six-pack abs. Be that as it may, I love to work out and I love to eat so that’s fine by me.

If you don’t want to waste away all of the work you put into training then you have to be careful with the cheat meals as well. It’s way too easy to step into McDonald’s or any random fast food out there, but that’s not what I want. Picking out a restaurant for cheat meal can be a surprisingly tricky task.

Over the past few months, I fell in love pizza and pasta again. Thanks to a recommendation from a friend I found an amazing Italian place and went there. It was Sunday and everything was chill and amazing. This led me to form a habit of going to that place almost every Sunday. The food menu is really packed with delicious items. I figured this is going to be THE place for my cheat meals every weekend or whenever I feel like having one.

Buongiorno & Arrivederci

Unfortunately, after just a few weeks of sincere admiration for this place, everything fell apart. It took me less than an hour to become really disappointed. I think it’s really hard out there for most of the restaurants. There are so many pieces of the puzzle that need to fit in for the restaurant to become popular. Even after that initial success, it’s probably ten times harder to keep customers coming than it is to lose them.

What managed to make me slightly mad on the day of my last visit was pretty much everything. It was raining, and when I got to the restaurant I saw there’s only one table left. Usually, there was much more space and much less noise. The waiter forgot to bring a part of my order, which was fine by me after seeing all that crowd and fuss. But I wasn’t able to forgive what happened next.

The food came in, and what supposed to be a highlight of my week turned out to be a disaster. My long-awaited pizza was raw on the inside and really black on the edges and at the bottom. It was barely edible and looked like the chef doubled the oven heat and baked it half the time.

Check, please!

Of course, we can always consider me being a bit spoiled, but here’s why I decided to be harsh in this situation. It’s because I’m often dealing with a similar problem in a different industry. But I’m dealing with it in an entirely different way. In a world of a freelancer (just like in a restaurant) at some point, there will be more work that needs to be done in a short period of time. It’s up to you how you will react in this kind of situation.

The Best Customer at a Restaurant Ever

First of all, I would never let a returning customer have a bad experience with something I am making for them. At this point, I think it’s fair to say that I was a returning customer, as I’ve visited this restaurant at least ten times.

People like me are those who expect of you to have a human approach and explain the situation. I wouldn’t mind waiting a bit longer to have a decent meal. Everything is running late today anyway. This isn’t the first time you see me, so show me that it matters to you that it isn’t the last time.

There were two very important lessons here.

  1. Always look around for a moment to figure out what’s going on.
  2. Try not to burn out under pressure. Because if you do, you stand at risk of losing one of the most valuable customers a freelancer (or any business) can have. A returning customer.

While this was definitely a very unpleasant experience, it’s not all that bad for my diet. Let the pursuit of a new cheat meal place begin! 🙂

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