In 2014, increasing criticism from guests and our own staff about the Cabernet Grill’s “restaurant experience” commanded our attention. Accounts of cold meals, slow service, a noisy environment, and long wait times stung. As did staff concerns about needing to spend too much time attending to large groups at the expense of providing excellent service for all of our other guests. Meanwhile, our devoted kitchen team showed signs of stress, too, as food orders arrived in unpredictable waves and quality suffered. Simply put, it became impossible to maintain our trademark ambiance, service, and cuisine quality while trying to serve too many guests at once. Something had to change.
After carefully analyzing these escalating issues, we realized that most of the problems arose when serving parties larger than six. This made sense because we devote tremendous attention to even the most minute details of every dish that leaves our kitchen, knowing that our reputation rides on each plate.
While filling the dining room with large groups boosted short-term revenue, it hindered our values-based vision of providing a superior guest experience that would turn first-time visitors into loyal repeat guests, eager to spread the word about their unparalleled Cabernet Grill experience. We needed to focus on what made us such a popular landmark restaurant to begin with. And that was serving top-notch unique Hill Country cuisine in a comfortable, casual, romantic environment complemented by exceptional service.
Servicing large groups was simply not conducive to this goal. As a result, we stopped accepting reservations for groups of more than six guests during peak periods such as weekends, holidays, and during special events. Recognizing that our local clientele still wanted to have us host their special events, we continue to offer group dining on weekdays when it is more manageable to accommodate large groups without impacting other dinner guests.
As much as we wish we could be all things to all guests, we must be true to our original vision: “Provide the best dining experience available in the Texas Hill Country.” To our loyal clientele and the many first-time guests we have the honor of hosting, we welcome you and vow to do our very best to make each visit an unforgettably pleasurable one.
Owner, Executive Chef