How To Choose A Place To Eat In choosing a new place to eat you should consider a number of factors before making your choice. Eating out is expensive and none of us have bottom less pockets to fund making mistakes. So prior to creating a short list of two or three to contact before making your decision review the following points, taking into consideration the needs of your guests and yourself. Point 1. Are there any special dietary needs? If you are eating with someone for the first time it is unlikely that you will know all of, or any, of their dietary needs. Are they vegetarian, vegan, fruit eaters, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Rastafarian, Sikh? Do they need food free of dairy products or gluten, low salt or fat, without nuts and suitable for diabetes sufferers? Point 2. What is the location for the new eating place? Are you looking for somewhere new that is close by, in the country or the city centre? How do you intend to travel to and from the venue? Is there public transport, or satisfactory parking facilities? Point 3. How much do you in tend to spend? If you are so lucky the meal might be funded out of and expenses claim, but they have limits and it is likely that your boss will not pay for a top priced meal because you did not realise that the eating place was three star Michelin. Set a budget. Point 4. Do you want to reserve a table? Check that it is possible to make a reservation, and if there are any restrictions and limitations depending upon the number in your party. Do they expect some form of payment in advance, how is the booking confirmed by both you and them, by email? What are their cancellation terms both in terms of time and costs? Point 5. Check the menu and drinks lists. It is pointless ending up at a burger outlet if you want a romantic meal, and likewise sitting in a candlelit booth if you are with the bank manager. Although the latter might be a good idea if you are desperate for some financing! Does the menu change regularly or is it constant? Both of these options might be important for differing reasons such as, you like change or you want to rely on a particular item being available. Point 6. Consider the sources of information to help you decide. Friends, family or work associates might offer recommendations based upon experiences, good or bad. Search the Internet using your key words, however be aware that a Website will be set up by the organisation, so totally impartiality will not exist. Do not take too much notice of any "Independent Testimonials", since probably the last thing that they will be is independent - the good ones could be set up by the proprietor and the bad ones people looking for a freebie. Review the food guides published by organisations with professional food inspectors, and are not reliant on comments from the public. Take note that in a year may eating places change ownership and style, so the guide might be out of date before it reaches the book store. Try to visit the premises to see if they are clean and look good and importantly have some customers. Assuming that you now have details of your requirements and have short listed two or three eating places. Ring the outlets to check the response. How quickly is the phone answered, is the response polite, are all of your questions answered, do the staff appear to be knowledgeable. Complete the exercise with all the short listed outlets and make your decision. After the effort you will have put in, I hope that the new eating place lives up to your expectations. About the author: Henry Lord is a fanatical enthusiast and lover of all things seafood. He has been a professional chef for nearly twenty five years, so has experienced many traditional and innovative ways to cook and present food. He is also keen to promote seafood as a healthy source of our daily eating needs. The website http://www.cookingseafoodathome.com is written by him. It provides lots of tips on all aspects to helping you put a great seafood meal in front of your family or friends. Additionally if you visit the website now and enter your name and email address, you will receive for FREE the e Booklet on "Home Curing Of Fish". Other FREE e Booklets will follow each month.