Cancun is a wonderful destination location for tourists worldwide, and eating at the right place can make of break a vacation experience. We interviewed hundreds of restaurant go-ers to try and determine how and why they develop a certain loyalty to food service establishments.

First and foremost, it is the emotional factor that draws people back time and time again. In other words, the restaurant can be clean and tidy, but if there is some type of connection that happens between human beings (i.e., the diner and the server/bartender/etc.), there is a much higher chance of the customer coming back. That is, if the connection and experience was a positive emotional outcome. Obviously, emotions can run wild if something goes wrong with the meal, or if the service is horrible, but that goes without saying.

Next, we found that the restaurants who succeed in the eyes of the customer typically have a high level of pride in their business. The chefs, the servers, the owner(s), the host/hostess — everyone knows their role and contributes to the overall success of the diner’s experience.

In addition to the finding above, it was evident that there was a sense of accountability from each member of the team working at very popular restaurants. At one spot in particular, the head chef worked directly with the restaurant owner to find the best deals on kitchen equipment that was needed to ensure a properly functioning and efficient commercial food service operation. The host and wait staff showed tremendous partnership as well to dig into the details that would make for a great dining experience for guests.

Having a close watch on seasonality and time of year for key events, such as Mother’s Day which just passed, and Father’s Day which is coming up, was also a major factor in the restaurants’ success rates. Old stale menus don’t cut if for customers in Cancun. They go out to eat, and they want it to be memorable — not just another dinner that they could have had back home.

Travelers tend to listen very closely to the locals as well. The popular show back in the day with Rachael Ray used to show just how much you can learn about great places to eat by asking people who call that city or town home. Same goes for Cancun. Ask someone on the street or the beach, and if their English is rusty, get a translator, or just brush up on your Espanol!

Make sure to check back for more blog posts about dining out in Cancun right here at Cancun Dining Guide! Thanks for reading, and happy eating!