- Service – Friendliness, communication skills, waiting time.
- User interface – can you work out how to order/find your way around the restaurant or the menu.
- Accuracy of order – did you get what you asked for?
- Niceness of food
- Value for money
- Drinks – quality, variety, price.
- Décor and ambience
- Miscellaneous – hot flannels, mints with the bill, and other unexpected niceness
- Gout [absence of] – the mood of the persons involved in the meal experience, and other influencing factors. This to be referred to as giving them the benefit of the gout.
- Choice – diversity and interestingness of menu.
- Location – i.e. not in Slough.
This rating scale was developed over the weekend by the Uborka-Pockless Restaurant Rating Committee, on a field trip to Bristol. It was calibrated and tweaked over the course of a 48-hour eating spree, which included paninis, curry, pizza, full english breakfast, and a lot of beer.
The scale is named, not in an attempt to offend any god-botherers or alienate Sevitz, but after one of the exclamations uttered during the hour-long wait for our main courses on Saturday night.
The twelve criteria represent the twelve disciples, although we haven’t got round to giving them actual names yet, mainly because we don’t know the names of all the disciples. This is just random and irreverent, and that’s the way it’s going to stay.
The scale is a closed-option marking system, where the venue scores either a YES or a NO against each criterion. The number of YESes are added up, and that gives a final rating. If you feel particularly geeky, you can then turn this into a percentage, but that would be a bit much, don’t you think?
The original version of the scale was developed in the Kathmandu Nepalese Restaurant in Bristol, which scored a shockingly low 6/12 Christs on a Bike, or Christ on a Bikes if you prefer.
We still had plenty of time while we were waiting for our bill, so we went on to test the scale by assessing the nice little cafe where we had delicious paninis at lunchtime. The place was the Boston Tea Party, and the score was 9/12 Christ on a Bikes.
On Sunday we had the opportunity to evaluate the Full English provided by our charming bed and breakfast. We were obliged to award 12 Christ on a Bikes, which I have just decided to call a Jesus. It really was that good.
Finally, in the spirit of indulgence that characterised our weekend [but please bear in mind that we went on a four-hour walk on Saturday and a three-hour walk on Sunday], we had pizzas in the Bar Room Bar, where Pete was delighted to revisit the Crispy Duck Pizza, and they scored 8.17/12 Christ on a Bikes before visiting the toilets, and 9/12 Christ on a Bikes afterwards.
As an interesting aside, we discovered that when in the process of waiting for an unacceptable amount of time in a Nepalese restaurant, the most effective way of conjuring up more attentive service is to complain to the waiter and then get out your notebook and start making comprehensive notes about the restaurant.