Last week I was listening to my local NPR (National Public Radio) station. They were interviewing Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson about the closing of Trattoria Mitchell, a 32 years old restaurant located in the old Seattle neighborhood of Pioneer Square.
She was describing how sad she was that this old restaurant was closing because she fondly remembers her first dinner in that restaurant with her boyfriend when she moved to live in Seattle.
Yes, restaurants create memories. They are not just places where people go to fill in their tummies or have a drink. They are places where people go to have a conversation with friends, to share a good meal with people who they like and appreciate, to have a good time…
This is why it is so important that you focus your energy in creating great memories for your customers. Once you can provide your clients with emotions that they associate to your place, you will have won their hearts and souls forever.
This is also why it is so devastating when they don’t get the experience that they are looking for. If instead of a good memory shared with people that they care, they get a bad experience, in their minds that bad experience will multiply a hundred times. They will exaggerate small issues that for you are perhaps not that important and will become your worst critic.
They are not thinking logically, they are thinking emotionally and emotions provoke very strong feelings. You must try to mitigate any negative feelings by compensating your clients so that they come back to your place again and give you a second chance to give them an emotional experience.
Only this way you will have repeated clients willing to give you their money on exchange for a good time at your place.
Never let a customer leave your place unhappy. They won’t come back and won’t forgive you for giving them a bad experience.