I, for one, am rather reluctant when it comes to trying new foods when there is a cost involved.
Not a relevant photo. These are Samovar Tea Lounge's
Squash Dumplings Pretty good, but very sharp.
I distinctly remember a time that I went to Jamba Juice when I ordered a Strawberries WHIRL instead of a Strawberries WILD. I gave it a try. And I hated it. I think this experience has scarred and prevented me from taking any more chances with food.
There is a cost incurred when you try new things and don't like them. In Jamba Juice's case it was approximately $4 and a bad taste in my mouth.
This brings me to my point: Why don't restaurants (especially new ones) offer more opportunities to try their dishes? I know there are descriptions on the menu, but- And let's be honest, the descriptions on the menu are generally outlandish and impossible to decipher.
For me, a majority of the reluctance to go to a restaurant/try new things on the menu is the fear of being disappointed. And I feel like this fear is something that can be easily combated by...
- Restaurants could offer a free appetizer (like many Mexican restaurants offer free chips & salsa).
- They could straight up offer free mini-sample dishes.
- Restaurants could give offers to reduce the price of new dishes.
Why should restaurants do this?
- Customer satisfaction: customers are more likely to like what they purchase if they get to try it/ they'll be a lower cost that they incur if they hate it
- Customers will be less likely to send dishes back to the kitchen if they don't like them
- --> Customer retention: it costs more to get new customers than retain the ones you already have
- These customers might bring in other customers
Maybe I'm cheap- maybe I like free samples. I dunno. It just makes a lot of sense to me. Although restaurants would incur a cost in the short-term, they would be able to gain and retain customers in the long run.