Easy steps for restaurant failure

A restaurant will open in Shanghai. There will be, of course, parts that they need to iron out and improve. But it starts off generally good, so the expat crowd goes there.

The expat crowd being there means that a certain group of locals will follow and go there too. No matter that they don’t really like salad and such, and would honestly just prefer a big bowl of fried noodles – they will still follow.

Then, inevitably, the quality slowly starts to decline.

The second batch of regular customers have no idea about the quality of pasta, pizza, salads, sandwiches – or service. But they don’t care. The decoration is nice (they think) and the prices are high – so they still go there.

Quality is now down the toilet. Servings are laughably small, the staff hate you and the food hates you too. Restaurant progression: complete.


However, thankfully, some places avoid this. Wagas and Baker & Spice are two such examples (well, they are run by the same company). They’ve been around for longer than 95% of expats here but they still show a level of professionalism that the huge majority of other places here lack.

The servers / staff are bright and friendly. The food is reliable and hits the mark, every time. The prices are still very reasonable.

All the newcomers could still learn a lot from Wagas – they keep it very simple and treat their customers with respect – i.e. they don’t think that we are stupid enough to accept a decline in quality or service.

I first had this about 10 years ago… today, it remains just as good!

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Categories: Food


Foreigner in Shanghai


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  1. The cunning plan of the entertainment industry | Developing City - February 27, 2013

    […] Easy steps for restaurant failure […]

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