Learning About Snacks From A Restaurant Owner

Have you ever had a good discussion about quality, low price snacks with someone who understands the food retailing business?  I finally had such a conversation with a friend the other day who used to own several Italian restaurants.  Apart from learning about delicious Italian food (yum!) it was fun to learn about various topics that would affect my snacking choices when out in public.

We covered a lot of topics including:

  • food safety
  • asking the right questions of any wait/service staff, even at fast food places
  • the types of stickers and other signs of legitimate food inspection at public eating establishments
  • reading food labels if picking up snacks in a package
  • health considerations
  • what to watch out for
  • types of restaurant kitchen equipment and how a repair may affect food quality going forward
  • what is deemed a fair price
  • coupons/discounts and if they are worth it
  • much more

To me, part of the memory of the conversation is funny because he now helps finance commercial real estate development, even though his original passion is Italian food.  The lessons he picked up and shared, however, are very valuable because of the topics being so relevant:  people want safe food that tastes great, at great prices, delivered quickly with great service at a professional establishment that is compliant with all regulations.  While that doesn’t seem like much to ask for, it can be a difficult equation for many establishments to achieve.  This is because of so many factors coming into play, not the least of which is that the audience can be fickle and change its taste buds quickly.

Quick “snack” places are tougher as well, especially in Dallas Fort Worth, because of so much competition and people always looking for bargains.  In many DFW towns there is only so much one can spend on food budget, so competition sometimes forces establishment owners to take shortcuts or sometimes just not care about certain aspects of the business.  Hopefully you get to have as eye-opening a conversation as I did and use the lessons to help you filter down your food choice locations.