Editorial: Being the first may not be the best idea

Published 6:53 pm Wednesday, March 15, 2023

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Being first has its rewards, but it may not be a true test.

Driving by the Hwy. 55 diner on opening day Monday in Mocksville, the line at the drive-thru was around the building. Parking spaces were filled.

It’s just another first day for a restaurant in Davie County.

It seems that anytime a new restaurant comes to town, it creates quite the buzz. Everyone wants to try it at the same time, when they first open.

I’ve never understood that.

You may get the best the restaurant has to offer – or the worst.

I don’t expect a restaurant to be at its best on opening day. I expect everyone there to be trying to do their best, but I think what we can really expect is a few months out. They’re still learning on opening day.

But they can fool you. If the restaurant has any business sense, and I’m sure most do, they will be fully staffed at opening, maybe even a few extras from other sites, ones with experience on dealing with stressful situations. In a few months, that extra experience and help may not be there. In a few months, supervision could change. In a few months, a lot could change.

To test a restaurant’s real worth, try it a few times. Early on if you must, but wait a while and go again to see if the food and experience still meet your expectations. Then go back again before deciding whether to put it on your regular restaurant rotation.

Rarely say never again after one visit.

Rarely expect the same treatment three months out as you get on opening day.

There should be no hurry to be the first to dine at a restaurant. Chances are, the restaurant will be there for a while, although we had one site in Mocksville that ended up as three different restaurants during the same year. And chances are, the real experience of that restaurant is yet to develop.

But most importantly, never take the advice of a newspaper columnist on when you should dine out and where. It’s none of our business, although you guys are fun to watch.

– Mike Barnhardt