Not About Food

Are you a leader, a follower or both?


Not About Food 1

Are you a leader, a follower or both?

PaulF | Apr 12, 2006 06:59 PM

I'll answer, then I'll explain.

I'm both.

Sometimes I'm more one than the other, depending on mood, time of year and other factors I'm not sure about.

So, what am I sure about ... what am I talking about?


Do you like to lead or do you like to follow?

Do you like to be the first to try some place that hasn't been reviewed? Do you like to try places before you even know if they've been reviewed?

Or do you prefer to ask whether or not someone has already tried some place you've never been? Do you prefer to ask questions about what to order? Or do you like to explore the menu on your own?

Each has its own set of rewards.

The leader is the risk taker. They get to experience the excitment of trying something new. New to them, at least. They find places big and small, fancy and scary and try them out with no preconceived notions. They may have to go back a few times to get a sense of the menu.

This means that they eat their share of lousy meals in lousy restaurants. They also eat their share of lousy meals in good restaurants in search of the good things each establishment has to offer.

On the other hand, when they find a gem, when they make a discovery they experience a joy and surprise not found in more cautious dining.

On the other hand, the follower does their homework. They ask a lot of questions. They avoid places that don't get reviews and stick to the places that do. They want menu recommendations. The stick to the tried and true.

As a result, they get a much higher percentage of great meal. And that's the object of the game after all.

But they don't get the thrill of discovery.

Back to me ...

I'm really both.

I'm very adventurous, particularly when it comes to dives and little family owned places. In that sense, I'm an explorer. And while I like to think I've got a good nose (mouth?) for finding great little places, sometimes I don't and I end up eating dreck. And because I'm stubborn, I return for more dreck until I'm convinced I was originally wrong.

When it comes to fine dining, I'm more of a follower, much more. Also when it comes to higher end trendy dining. It would be easy to say that I'm that way because I don't want to risk more money on a bad meal, but that's not it. Not exactly it.

It's more that I have so much less knowledge when it comes to fine dining, that I prefer to consult the experts. I don't know that much about which wine to order or what the best way to age beef is, so I like to do my homework and sample what others more expert than I consider great.

I don't trust my own taste as much when it comes to fine dining as I do when it comes to counter intelligence (is that trademarked?), so depending on the situation, I'm both follower and leader.

But I'm leader, more often tham I'm follower.

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