I’m a big fan of finding ways to stand out from the crowd. One way is to do things your competition doesn’t do and raise your customer’s expectations. If you can do this consistently, you can charge a premium for your product and still have a long line of customers waiting for you.
I encountered such an experience today at an upscale barbecue restaurant here in Taiwan. This is a restaurant that I’ve been to before. The food is really good and the decor is really done well. However what I really noted was the service and attention to detail, from start to finish. It began when we sat down at the table for dinner with my wife and her parents. The waiter brought an extra cushion for my wife, who is pregnant, without her asking for one. My menu was in English while everyone else’s was in Chinese (as I was the only non Chinese person at the table). Again, this was done without my asking. He then showed us how to barbecue our meat on the grill in front of us. He took a sample of meat from each person’s plate to make sure nobody was left out. The meat was also placed on the grill in such a way that there was no cross contamination between different meats. I thought that was a nice touch.
As this was a six course meal, there were several waiters bringing in dishes at various times throughout the night. I noticed that in addition to serving the dishes ordered, they had also noted which person had ordered each dish, so the correct dish was placed in front of you each time, without you having to identify it. By the time dessert was ready to be served, we had made a fine mess at our table from everyone barbecuing their own portions. However the waiters not only took away the plates, but also quickly wiped and cleaned the table before serving dessert.
I’m normally not a fan of upscale restaurants, as I usually find their portions smaller, leaving me with a dissatisfied feeling when I compare the price of the meal with the size of the portions. In this case however, I left very full from the meal and very impressed with the service and showmanship showed throughout the meal. I don’t mind paying extra in this case since I truly feel I got more for my money than I would’ve elsewhere.
Do your customers feel the same way after using your services?