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I found a restaurant review while searching for google maps, and this is an excerpt from it.

This is how you do it. Delicious with a very nice outdoor space. Parking on the street was very vacant. We had the rabbit, deer and elk. Scrumptious. Texture and flavors were delicious. The casing was nice and crunchy. For the rabbit, I could taste the white wine.

I feel like I can use that expression when giving a compliment to something. But I'm not sure about when to use this expression and exact nuance.

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  • I don't recognise your cited usage. Is it some variation of This is the life! (expression of contentment with one's present circumstances)? Jun 6 at 11:27
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    The English of the whole passage is rather odd. (I would expect It was easy to park on the street or There were plenty of parking spaces.) I assume it means This is the right way to run a restaurant. Jun 6 at 12:33
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    Using that sentence as a compliment requires a specific intonation and stress pattern. This must be heavily stressed and lengthened (with a pointing gesture if spoken, and a significant pause after). Then the rest of the sentence is spoken at normal pace, but with each word stressed. You can be used instead of we; that makes no difference. Jun 6 at 12:39
  • The title of your question and its last paragraph make it unclear to me what kind of answer you want? Are you asking whether it should be This is how you do it or That is how you do it? Or are you asking if you can use This is how you do it as a compliment?
    – Shoe
    Jun 6 at 15:59
  • Compare "That's the way to do it" which is a traditional phrase from the English seaside entertainment the Punch and Judy show. There are various versions all with the same meaning, of indicating how something should be done. You should be able to work out which variation fits your needs, and people will not look at you strangely if you vary it. The difference between this and that is complex, but you will find it in any good book teaching English.
    – Stuart F
    Jun 6 at 22:20

3 Answers 3

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You can think of that phrase as short for

If you want to operate a restaurant well, this is how you do it.

where "this" refers to the way the restaurant being reviewed is run. The rest of the review goes into more detail about what they're doing well, suggesting that other restaurateurs should emulate these features.

Note that this assumption of praise generally only applies when the phrase is used by itself. It can also be used as part of a more explicit sentence, e.g.:

If you want to drive away customers, this is how you do it. Provide little outdoor dining or parking. Rush them to order. Serve the food cold.

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You can use this expression whenever you like, and you may expect at least US teens and young adults to understand and relate to it. It means, in this case, that this restaurant is a model for other restaurants, everything about it is so good and well done.

As an example, my 26yo son (who's been famous his whole life for being very good at bragging) works in sales, and I hear this phrase from him regularly, when he's just had a big win at work (a sale or a happy conclusion to some inter-office negotiation).

You can see some documentation in the Urban Dictionary-1, Urban Dictionary-2.

By the way, if the reviewer went to the restaurant with friends, each person might have ordered a different dish.

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  • Your Urban Dictionary link is for a very different phrase. "how we do it" is not the same as "how you do it".
    – Barmar
    Jun 6 at 23:04
  • @Barmar - OP asked about both. Do you see a significant difference between them? // I added another link. Jun 7 at 4:58
  • You're right, the title mentioned "we", but it's not in the question itself. The difference is that "we" is part of boasting, while "you" is part of praising.
    – Barmar
    Jun 7 at 15:21
  • @Barmar - I see the phrases as quite related, though, as I hear my son using them. When he says, "This is how you do it," he means, "This is how one does it," or, "What I did exemplifies how this should be done." Jun 7 at 20:35
  • The phrase can also be used before showing or explaining how to do something (as in "this is how you tie a tie"). But that's a somewhat different sense from the way it's used in the review.
    – Barmar
    Jun 7 at 20:36
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In a comment John Lawler wrote:

Using that sentence as a compliment requires a specific intonation and stress pattern. This must be heavily stressed and lengthened (with a pointing gesture if spoken, and a significant pause after). Then the rest of the sentence is spoken at normal pace, but with each word stressed. You can be used instead of we; that makes no difference.

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