As it is with a great many other things in this world, timing is everything.  But sticking to things I know, you can’t burst into a fantastic  mambo flourish or goosebump-inducing instrumental solo without having the basic timing down pat. Perfect timing (achieved through careful planning or ridiculously good luck) sets the groundwork for showcasing technical know-how on stage or off.  When a basic rhythm isn’t in place, things fall apart and experiences are ruined.

When eating out,  customers and restaurant management sometimes forget that the food isn’t the only thing that’s being paid for. Customers come in for the whole experience; from the art on the walls, the background music and to how a menu is laid out and how the food is served. People pay good money to have things go a certain way regardless of whether they are picking up lunch from the food stand across the street or taking someone on a first date to a snazzy new restaurant. Every time  you walk into a place,  you try to find, and go with, its rhythm.  The restaurant (or any other service provider for that matter) asks the customer for a dance.  If it’s a new place, you hope that your feet won’t get stepped on or fall flat on  your face. If it’s a regular dance partner, you expect to be able to enjoy yourself as you’ve done this dance before and were impressed.

So when your dance partner (the restaurant) fumbles over a simple beat… like the order in which food is being  served… things start to go downhill.  When the main course arrives before the appetizers, which come in together with the salad and soup,  the diner totally gets thrown off course. Then the food, no matter how good it is, doesn’t get attention it derserves.  When your dessert is being served while your companion’s main course hasn’t arrived yet, it’s almost impossible to get back in to step.  And when you say something about it to the waiter and he gives you a blank stare, it’s time get off  the dance floor.

For some diners, if the food is really, really good, they may come back for a second try. For a majority though, whether first -timers or regulars,  they’ll be off looking for something else and will probably tell their friends about how lousy the experience was and unfortunately, you’re probably never going to get to dance with that customer again.