The other night I went out to dinner with a mate. It was to a local pub, a venue we go to often. The meal was fine and then we ordered sweets.
The sweets were great too, but the coffee… Ok so I am something of a snob, but it was probably on a par with a coffee I would expect from a Chinese Deli in a Wheatbelt town. It looked awful when it arrived and tasted just as bad.
I drank it. It was a coffee flavoured drink if nothing else – and it wasn’t much else…
As we stood at the till waiting to pay the duty manager asked me, ‘By the way how was your coffee?’
‘Dreadful’ I said ‘possibly the worst coffee I have ever had in a cafe!’
He smiled, ‘Yeah we don’t have a barista on and no one was too sure quite how to make it. He chuckled a little more.
RIght then he had a chance to ‘wow’ me, to literally take away the bad taste in my mouth, by throwing me a freebie – at least giving me the coffee for free! But no, he just rang up the full charge and cheerily ignored any opportunity to win me back. Maybe because he isn’t the owner – maybe because at the end of the day he is a hired hand. (I know the owner and I have been fixing his retic for nearly 10 years now… )
Wind the clock forward to another local pub where we eat often and this time my steak comes out ‘medium’, when I asked for ‘rare’. This is the third time in a row my steak has come out overcooked at this cafe. I haven’t got gnarly about it on any of the occasions, but this time I asked the waitress as she was passing, ‘what would you call that steak in terms of its cooked state?’
‘Medium’ she said.
‘Yeah – I asked for rare. This has been the third time in a row that this has happened’. I’m not mad – just letting them know.
She apologies and offers me a new steak. I tell her its ok. Its not the end of the earth. Not worth wasting a steak over and I will be fine. ‘I just wanted you to know.’
A few minutes later the manager walks over and apologises too. She offers us a free desert. Nice. I get free desert and when I go to pay I see that she has wiped the drinks off the bill too.
It isn’t hard to change a slightly disappointed customer into one who is now very happy. So next time I head out for dinner which cafe is the more likely to get my business.
Not rocket surgery people!