engagment and good service while you don't wait

FOO: A Little Engagement Goes a Long Way

I’ve had a few arguments in the past (who me, confrontational?) regarding small vs. big business and their level of customer service. But Russel, people say, bigger businesses have more money to spend on training. The more expensive the shop, the better the service. Ridonkulous! As I’ve blogged before on staff and branding, customer servicestarts from the bottom up. Cost, expense…don’t and shouldn’t matter when the relationship with your customer is at stake.

So how do you measure FOO, a tiny little street asian food restaurant with seating for eight?

THE ORDER:
I’ve mentioned I’m a movie-freak, so to say the restaurants around my local theatres get a bit of my patronage would be an understatement. FOO is a great little spot serving butter chicken and pad thai, asian food staples. But this isn’t a foodie blog.

You walk in to the place where a single cashier/server takes your order the minute you’re done scanning their food board. To look around, there isn’t much to the place. The open-air kitchen takes up half the square footage while the seating figures about eight…all high chairs and bar tops. There is a bit of a patio but it’s not used much. About 10 minutes later, that’s it. Unless you decide to stick around to eat your food, you’ve just been FOO’d. (they should totally use that)

THE SERVICE:
I’ve often struggled on how to review businesses that pride efficiency over experience. If it’s about getting in and getting out with a good product and no time for any meaningful service, is that OK? FOO shows how a short turn around doesn’t need to mean a lack of engagement.

As I mentioned, FOO is a small space. Yet, when you order your food, the cashier/server makes a point of getting your name. They could easily yell BUTTER CHICKEN but instead they make that extra connection. We do love to hear our names (thanks Dale Carnegie). And the entire exchange of name and payment includes actual eye contact. I may only be there a few minutes, but I’m singled out while I’m there. I wish I could say the same for some full dining establishments.

THE CONCLUSION:

Going steady – This could be the beginning of something major. From the moment we meet, it’s all about me. My name, what I want…and you never stop gazing into these baby blues. I’ve been FOO’d. (had to use it again)

Service Rating System:

Friend Zone – I just don’t like you in “that way.”
Booty Call – If I don’t have anything else better going on, I’ll stop by.
2nd Date – I’ll give you a second chance.
Going steady – This could be the beginning of something major.

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