Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Go Out on a Limb

Yesterday I met with a gentleman that oversees 30+ restaurants.

It's a national chain, but locally owned.

We talked about what makes them different than other, similar chains.

His answer was basically, "we do a better job of doing what everyone is supposed to do."

In other words, "we are better at being average than the other guys".

Or perhaps, "we don't piss off and annoy as many customers as our competitors do".

I challenged him to make a customer promise.

A customer promise that they would stand behind, no matter what.

And to empower their front line employees to stand behind the customer promise without having to get permission from "the manager."

I could see he was getting nervous about this idea.

He came up with a half dozen excuses as to why they couldn't do that.

We'll meet next week again and see if I can push him out of his safe box, which is really a very dangerous place to be.

In the meantime, I'll share with you a few places that I know first hand will exceed the average.

Last week I was wrapping up a short vacation in Michigan and nearly every place we went to and spent money met our expectations.

Most of them exceeded them, one way or another. The restaurants, bed & breakfasts, the hotel.

The fast food joint was average. So were the gas stations and the movie theater.

But the other places that did a great job, they deserve credit.

We started at the BaySide Inn. Spent two nights there.
Really enjoyed the outdoor hot tub along with the usual B & B experience.

We also spent 1 night at Heritage Manor Inn. Very nice hosts and the breakfast was excellent.

We ate here twice!

Also here for lunch 1 day: Check out the Guinness & white cheddar soup.

Burgers: Got 'em twice!

We only had desert here, but would have had dinner too if we hadn't already ate:

A local coffee shop that is also a coffee roaster:

These guys got our money twice (That's a good thing!)

We also had lunch one day at:

And one of most unusual surprises was the last night of our trip where we ate, drank & spent the night:

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