When you eat at a new restaurant, you never know how good it will be. Will you have a decent service from the waiters? Will the food be as delicious as you hope? Will it be clean? There are many factors involved in an impressive, high-quality restaurant, including these five characteristics.

First Impressions Matter

Your dining experience should begin the moment you walk into a restaurant. A good restaurant will have a hostess greet customers at the door. Waiters will address the table within the first five minutes and provide good service. You have a pleasant dining experience largely because of the way you’re treated as a customer.

It’s Clean

Who wants to eat at a dirty restaurant? Nothing should annoy you more as a customer than sitting down at a nice restaurant and then you notice the silverware and plates haven’t been washed. The floor isn’t swept. The bathrooms aren’t clean. A dirty restaurant can spoil your whole evening and make you nervous about the quality of the food.

A Knowledgeable Waiter

Waiters should know about the food on the menu. If you ask if the meal is prepared with any spices, the waiter should know the answer. At the best restaurants, especially elite restaurants in New York City, waiters have a deep familiarity with the menu. The same should be true for all restaurants.

Food Is Correct The First Time

How many times have you had to send back your dinner plate because the chefs added cheese when you asked for it to be left off? Or, you’re out to dinner with a group and everyone gets their plate except for one person? This could be annoying as a paying customer. This shouldn’t happen at a high-quality, experienced restaurant.

The Little Things Matter

What makes a restaurant stand out from the others is the overall service. Did the waiter offer you another basket of dinner rolls? Did he/she refill your drink? Does the restaurant manager stop by your table to ask how your evening was? It’s the little things that mean so much. After all, you’re a paying customer. You should feel you’re welcome at the restaurant.