101 Must-Haves for a 5-Star Dining Experience

Posted on 26 May, 2017 by Flat Technologies

What makes a 5-Star experience? It’s all the little things.

In today’s digital age, restaurants are being reviewed every second and guests are using these recommendations as guidance on where to eat.

From quick sit-down diners to fancy fine-dining establishments – every restaurant should aspire to providing the very best experience for their guests.

We’ve compiled a list of 101 things you can do to provide a 5-star guest experience and fixing wobbly tables tops the list. 

of people believe that sitting at a wobbly table is irritating and distracting.
of people think that tables propped up by coasters, napkins, sugar packets, etc. look unsightly.
of people would reconsider returning to an establishment where a wobbly table spoiled their experience.
of people believe that experiencing a wobbly table would give them a negative impression of an establishment.

The Atmosphere

  • Stable Tables – 86% of People Believe That Sitting at a Wobbly Table Is Irritating and Distracting*
  • Aroma – From Garlic to Fresh Popcorn, Whatever It Is, Make It Smell Good
  • Clean Bathrooms
  • Coloring Books or Toys to Occupy Children
  • Comfortable Seating
  • Consistent & Comfortable Temperature – All Tables Placed Far From Drafts and Heating Ducts
  • Proper Ventilation
  • Enough Space Between Tables
  • Guest-First Mentality
  • Music – Not Too Loud, Not Too Quiet, With a Vibe That Fits the Place 
  • One-Of-A-Kind Concept
  • Original Artwork
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Pleasant View
  • Plenty of Close Parking Spaces or a Valet Option
  • Receipts That Are Easy to Read and Understand
  • Stylish Furniture
  • Themed or Matching Place Settings 
  • Accurate Wait Times
  • Ambiance – Lights, Candles

The Cost

  • Price Fit for the Quality
  • Check Dropped Off Promptly
  • Early-Bird Specials
  • Happy Hour Specials
  • Military Discounts
  • Senior Discounts
  • Themed Specials


The Experience

  • Clean Tables – 75% of People Think That Tables Propped Up by Coasters, Napkins, Sugar Packets, Etc. Look Unsightly
  • A Place for the Crowd That Isn’t in the Middle of a Walkway
  • Level tables - no ridges where the tables join together
  • Clean Dishes – Really, Really Clean Dishes
  • Consistency
  • Defined Target Demographic
  • Dishes Cleared Quickly
  • Entertainment
  • Freebies That Make Guests Feel Special
  • Fun Place to Wait For Your Table
  • Honest Servers
  • Impressive Décor
  • Local Incentives
  • Not an Extensive Wait Time
  • Prime Location
  • Safe and Comfortable Place for Break Time
  • Sanitized High Chairs
  • Simple Reservation Process
  • Something Eye-Catching & Unique – a Really Good Reason to Return
  • Something to Generate Conversation During Your Meal
  • Typo-Free Menu
  • Variety
  • Website With a Desktop and Mobile-Responsive Menu
  • Well-Designed Menu – With Pictures, of Course
  • Coat and Purse Hooks


The Food

  • No Spills – 56% of People Would Reconsider Returning to an Establishment Where a Wobbly Table Spoiled Their Experience*
  • A Few Items Everyone Will Enjoy
  • Carry-out Menu
  • Daily Specials
  • Decadent Desserts
  • Enough Time to Finish a Course Before the Next Course Comes Out
  • Great Food Made With Quality Ingredients
  • Healthy Options
  • Hot, Fresh-Brewed Coffee 
  • Ice-Cold Drinks
  • Meals That Hit the Table With All the Corresponding Sides and Condiments
  • Menu Items That Cater to the Pickiest of Kids
  • Real Butter That Is Easy to Spread
  • Signature Cocktails
  • Something to Eat While You Wait (Popcorn, Peanuts or Bread)
  • Sufficient Portions
  • Top-Shelf Liquor Options
  • Unique Offerings
  • Wide Selection of Alcoholic Beverage Options


The People

  • Disability Assistance – The ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) Requires That 5% of Foodservice and Hospitality Tables Must Be Accessible by Wheelchair (So, in A Restaurant With 20 Tables, at Least 1 Must Be ADA-Compliant)
  • Speedy, Smiling Staff
  • Efficient Staff
  • Great Chef
  • Manager Who Is Really Good With People
  • Polite Guests
  • Regulars
  • Someone to Welcome You, Hold the Door and Seat You
  • Address You by Name
  • Bartender With a Listening Ear and Great Jokes
  • Well-Versed in Wine Pairings and Food Selection

The Staff’s Requirements

  • Safe, Sturdy Tables – Spilled Drinks and Ugly, Propped-Up Tables Mean a Decrease in Tips, Which in Turn Leads to Poor Staff Morale
  • All Menu Items in Stock
  • Comfortable Uniforms
  • Daily To-Do Checklists
  • Discounted Meal Breaks
  • Dumpsters Close to the Building
  • Fine-Tuned POS System
  • High-Volume Dishwasher
  • Ice Machine
  • Inventory-Control Process
  • Multiple Spare Brooms and Dustpans
  • Plenty of Dish Towels
  • Plenty of Free Pens
  • Separated Spaces to Prep, Fry, Grill, Bake and Broil
  • Sharp Knives
  • Staff-Only Restrooms
  • Surplus of Free Paper for Taking Orders
  • Working Cooking Equipment 
  • Clean Rugs

A lot of hard work goes into the guest experience. Don’t let wobbly tables ruin a single aspect - fix your existing wobbles with FLAT Equalizers or try our auto-stabilizing table bases.

*source: YouGov survey


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