This is what I'm looking for when I go out to eat, in addition to great food at a fair price:
1. To be greeted warmly by the host: So many times I feel unwelcomed; I don't think it's personal, but they often seem so busy with the shuffling of tables that I'm barely greeted. I get the challenges of the job, but it is also the first impression you get of restaurant, so a genuinely warm greeting is essential for the experience.
2. A pleasant table: I don't want to sit so close to other patrons that I hear every word of their conversation and have their fanny in my face when they try to exit their seat to use the restroom or exit. (I'm looking at you, Pizzeria Mozza.)
3. A reasonable noise level: I want to be able to enjoy the company of my guests and not struggle to hear them or feel compelled to scream.
4. Pleasant waitstaff: I get the challenges of the job (I've been there), but I hate when they are so rushed because they have too many tables to service and are rushed. Makes me feel like I'm just an intrusion.