I'm Never Coming Back
The server should arrive within five minutes after the customer is seated. If they're not able, a simple "hello, I'll be right with you" is fine (at least they'll know he/she is alive). Water should be poured right away by the busboys. If ordering a cocktail or wine, it should arrive within five minutes of ordering. The main entree should come out within 25 minutes, anything over that and it's too long. The server should always be in communication doing check backs on the food, suggesting wines and cocktails he/she loves. When the server is knowledgeable, customers feel more comfortable about what they're going to eat.
The overall atmosphere of a restaurant is important too. Does it smell good? Is it clean? Is it inviting? Are the staff uniforms clean and ironed? Do they have clean fingernails? Is their hair clean? I had a server once with greasy hair and I almost walked out he was so dirty. Is the staff talking loudly about what they did over the weekend? The customer should never have to hear these conversations. Servers should be standing "at attention" ready to serve.
The food is the most important thing, it should make me want to get up and do a dance. Restaurants should do a blind taste test with random people once a month to taste their menu. I have been to restaurants where the manager asks, "How was the food?" and I have replied, "It's great thanks," just to avoid an awkward situation of saying that I'll never come back. Great service warrants a 20% tip, they should be rewarded. Details matter in life and in restaurants, they can make or break them. If I have great service, great food and a wonderful atmosphere, this restaurant will be added to my rotation.