As with most relationships; should it initially be based on superficial ideals, fulfilment will only be temporary. Values are needed to to live authentically and without values how will you actually know if something is perfect for you? After over a decade in the industry, this is our list of how to determine if a venue is right for you.
Having similar goals
Walking into a speciality venue will only end in heartbreak should your ideals be different to theirs. Should you just want a steak and you walk into a tasting menu-type restaurant, obviously they won’t be serving steak. The same works for coffee, alcohol and other foods.
If you’d like a Starbucks Frappucino but walk into a speciality coffee shop, you’re likely to leave unfulfilled. The same would happen vice-versa. Though should you ‘just want a coffee’ both would be able to fill that void.
Establishing what you truly want out of your experience is key. Do you want somewhere to watch live music or do you want somewhere intimate where you can have a conversation?
Do you want a pint of Tennents or two-thirds of a Double IPA? You can’t expect your local boozer to supply the second option there so don’t expect it, it’d just lead to a negative experience.
Don’t criticise a steak restaurant for their lack of vegan options. Go somewhere else.
The thing is, the venue usually has their goals already established before you walk through the doors. They are already what they are, so for you to get the most out of this exchange you need to understand this and plan accordingly.
Once goals have been established, it’s important to communicate exactly what you want out of your experience. It’s okay to not know exactly what you want, but communicate that.
Service staff are not robots, some even actually enjoy the conversation (who knew!?). Some are even passionate about what they do and would love to share that passion with you.
Watch a bartender’s eyes light up like a committed relationshipee stuck in missionary, when you utter the words “I want to try something new” or “I usually drink this but I want to try something else’”.
Communication, like in any fruitful relationship, is the most important thing to both parties getting what they need.
Always remember, successful loving relationships are an equal back and forth affair. If one of you has all the power and makes all the decisions, how will it ever work? True love must be democratic.
People like what they like, accept and respect that.
Venues do what they do, accept and respect that.
Sometimes we can’t always get exactly what we want. But we aren’t children, and it’s the adult thing to find a compromise. It may sound like I’m implying that you should just take what the venue offers and accept that. Quite the opposite actually, except with restaurants that is. Their menu is set, don’t try to change it. That’s a dick move.
However, when it comes to cocktails, the French Martini is a good example for this. Most decent cocktail bars won’t stock Chambord, because it’s not a great product and doesn’t have many uses outside of this one drink. But if you like a French Martini, cool. You do you, buddy.
Some venues (the bad ones) may just disregard you, end the conversation here and just substitute Chambord for a similar product.
Some venues (the good ones) will take this as an opportunity to further the communication (it’s important, remember) and suggest alternatives. “We have this really cool drink on the menu, it takes on similar characteristics as the French Martini and we’re really proud of it. It has these ingredients and is served short as well. Give it a try and if you don’t like it we can try something else.”
Don’t go and then give them a Negroni, dick move bartender.
Also don’t over-upsell, nobody likes a surprise. Part of the reason commodity venues make a killing is because they are safe - you know exactly what you will get every time. Your boss may give you a pat on the back for upselling to that £18 whisky or £6 filter coffee filtered through gold leaf, but that customer will never come back and they will tell their friends.
We don’t make products, we make experiences. Make people happy.
Food and drink in it's simplest form is such a beautiful thing. It's a way to bring people together, express creativity and love, find comfort, support a community, or it’s simply a means to spend a day. If a venue doesn’t give you happiness then don’t go there. You should be happy, so go be happy.
Finally, we have trust. Trust is a culmination of all the previous points. Should all those things be achieved, trust is gained. Now you can look forward to a long, conducive and happy relationship.
Enjoy your time together, explore new experiences together, trust each other, go on adventures together. Love together.