Fish and Chips

SOLD? Doesn’t mean they can’t buy more.

You must have had this experience. You went into a restaurant to have a meal and drink. You sat down and waited patiently for a waiter to come your way. Eventually one came, probably greeted you and handed you the menu then left you to study it.

You signal that you are ready to order and the waiter comes rushing back.

You: “I’ll have fish and chips”
Waiter: “Pole, hatuna hiyo” (sorry, we don’t have that)

“Ok” you think, “good fish isn’t easy to find nowadays anyway”

You: “I’ll have Mbuzi and roast potatoes”
Waiter: “Mbuzi imeisha” (Sorry, we are out of mbuzi)

You: “Mkona nini basi?”
Waiter: “Matumbo fry and ugali”

You, in a disappointed tone because half your lunch hour was spent looking at a menu: “Sawa, basi leta hiyo” (Ok… just bring that)

As you wait, you look around and see most others eating ugali and matumbo fry. You look down and wait for your food. You just want to get out of there and never come back.

Terrible circumstance, yeah? And typical of most restaurants in Kenya.

Is there any way this situation could have been handled better? Yes! I was in a similar situation while mystery shopping for my client but was delighted with the results.

I was welcomed and the very expectant but very professional waitress proceeded to request my indulgence as she narrated the menu. I waited patiently. She first explained that since they had very few overnight guests, they did not offer a buffet. Then she told me what was available for Ala Carte dinner and quickly managed my expectations by letting me know how long the preparation would take – then asked if I would like a drink served as I waited at the restaurant or if I would rather leave and have her call when the meal was ready. She also made sure to let me know I could have the meal delivered to my room at a small fee.

How delightful! I ended up getting the most expensive meal on the menu, had a drink while waiting and another after!

What was the main difference in these two interactions?

First, the waitress up sold, up sold, up sold.

Secondly, she managed my expectations by giving me useful information in advance like why there was no buffet and how long I’d wait for food.

Thirdly, she made me feel cared for by giving me different options of where I preferred to have my meal.

Finally, I was so happy that I ordered drinks before and after and cannot wait to go back to Machakos for that fish & chips.

As a person, let alone company:
What value are you offering?
What makes you special? What makes you stand out?
Does your passion for what you do come through?
Are you ethical in your operations, guided by policies and procedures?
Are you consistent?
Do you influence others in your workplace to raise the bar?
Are you at home with who you are – being the same person always?
Do you look out for your clients, colleagues, boss, that “soldier” at the gate?

Why? Because all these things add up to the total customer experience you provide. Better bring your A-game!

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