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5 Things Restaurateurs Want You to Know

Americans spend a lot of money dining out. In fact, according to the National Restaurant Association, they spend an average of $1.7 billion on a typical day. While restaurateurs hear all day long about what consumers want to eat and how they want it, consumers don't always have any idea what the establishments want them to know in return. But having such an insight can make for an even more enjoyable dining experience.

"The more you know about the way the restaurant staff thinks, the better your experience will be," explains Chef Scott Jenkins, the executive chef at Arlington-based Extra Virgin restaurant. "While every restaurant is different, most of us have several things in common that we wish consumers knew."

Here are 5 things that restaurateurs want you to know:

The myths. There are a lot of stories out there concerning "secrets" about the restaurant industry. The truth is that much of that information is based on myths and is exactly that, a myth. But the articles keep getting pumped out because reading them is popular.

Call us. If you have reservations and you are running late, give us a call. Restaurants will typically provide a short grace period, while running very late or not showing up at all can cause problems that impact others, as well.

The team. Many people have misguided anger. At times, the wait staff bears the brunt of food cooked not to one's liking, for example. While the wait staff may be the face that consumers see, it is important to remember that there are others working behind the scenes.

Give feedback. We want to know if something makes you unhappy, so that we can have the opportunity to make it right. Whether it's the service, food, or something else, let us know so we can address it. Left uncorrected, we may lose your business, so give us the chance to take care of the issue.

Share celebrations. Let us know if you are celebrating something special when you come in. We will take that opportunity to try to make it even more special. Whether it's a birthday, anniversary, or another celebration, let us know. Maybe we can get you a special table near the window, for example.

"Our mission as a restaurant is to please our customers," adds Chef Jenkins. "We are only successful if they are happy. When they are aware of the things we want them to know, they will be providing us with more of an opportunity to provide them with great service."

About Extra Virgin: Located in Shirlington Village's "Restaurant Row," Extra Virgin offers diners a variety of modern Italian cuisine. The restaurant offers both lunch and dinner, as well as full catering services. The owner, Shary Thur, is a four-time breast cancer survivor, while Scott Jenkins, the executive chef, has over 18 years of culinary experience. The restaurant hosts weekly jazz and other music events, as well as weekly specials, in addition to late night dancing. To learn more about Extra Virgin, visit the website at:

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