Monday, June 10, 2013

Where simple 1% could have made a difference


So maybe I had high expectations however as a new customer to a local restaurant I hadn’t been to before I don’t believe that’s unusual.
The Meat and Wine Co in Hawthorn East was where I went to dinner last night. It looks fantastic from the outside and the online menu simply delicious and I always get excited to potentially discover a great local restaurant.  

We walked in behind a group of 6 whose table wasn’t ready, however somehow the maître de missed us walking in, I went up to her and asked her for our table, she then called the waitress and asked her several times if table 28 was ready. And every time she asked the question she raised her voice; clearly there were some levels of stress however as the paying customer not something I am interested in experiencing the minute I walk in.
We were taken to our table, menu’s provided and the waitress looking after our section introduced herself to us. However the irony is she never returned to our table again. Clearly she either was moved to another section or didn’t really want to look after us!

We ordered South African wine, a red, waited for at least 10 mins to be told that it was no longer available. Firstly shouldn’t the manager have briefed the team on what was available and what wasn’t prior to customers arriving? Secondly perhaps we should have been offered an alternative wine.  I then ordered the white wine which when it arrived at the table was apparently the last bottle and just enough for two glasses. I would suggest they stock wines that can be made available to their clients.
We ordered two different entrée’s and when they arrived the waiter literally put them on the table without asking who was eating which one or any explanation of what they were.

After waiting nearly an hour for our main meal the waitress finally came to our table to let us know that our meals were delayed due to a private function upstairs. Clearly the management had not prepared for this to occur and there were significant delays.
When they finally did arrive I had ordered beef medium that had been overdone and the meat was quiet dry plus slightly cold.

At the end of our meal no one offered us dessert or coffee.
We asked for our bill and yes they had charged us for the red wine that we never got.

The Meat and Wine Co market themselves as a cut above the rest – well this certainly wasn’t the case last night.
Now all the issues I have raised above are very easily addressed if the management simply looked at their process and service standards from the eyes of the customers. These are simple training issues but when you are competing for business with other restaurants these simple things will lose you clients.

Are your processes and service standards designed with the client in mind and does your team actually understand what level of service you want to deliver to ensure repeat and referral business occurs.
What are your customers’ expectations of service from your brand and are they in fact getting it? How are you ensuring that they do?

Audi are fantastic at pre and post service delivery. A few weeks ago I had to have my car assessed for repairs to be done at a panel beaters and I got a call from Audi during the week to ensure that someone had called me and my car was booked in. He then ended the call by saying I will call you after the car has been repaired to ensure you are happy. That’s exceeding my expectations.
Do you call your tenants a month after they moved in to ensure they are settled in?

Do you call your purchasers a month later to ensure that they are settling in? Do you do the same with your sellers?
These simple 1% make all the difference and sets you aside from your competition.

Remember we are in a congested market place and the smallest things now make the biggest impact.
As for the Meat and Wine Co, clearly I won’t be going back there anytime soon.