I was out the other evening with friends and Mrs H at our favourite restaurant. For those of you who know me you’ll know where I mean. Eric’s is a great restaurant in Lindley village, just outside of Huddersfield. It’s a running joke that I have a loyalty card.
We’ve not been there since New Year’s Eve. I’ve had other priorities, starting ThinkSMART for one, getting the website live and then putting some effort into writing blogs. It was still nice to get greeted with a ‘Hi Mike, not seen you for a while’. Little things.
But it was the New Year’s Eve party at Eric’s that left me really impressed. We’d booked to go about three months prior, not wanting to miss out. (We’d done the conga round the restaurant a couple of years before that at two in the morning).
Looking at the 8-course menu I realised that a couple of dishes had cheese on them. Now I hate cheese, apart from on a pizza, (to me that’s not proper cheese) Cheddar, Edam, Danish Blue – whatever, fungus, blue, sorry it’s wrong. Mrs H strongly disagrees. With a bit of a sigh and a ‘well I’ll eat the other bits on the plate then’ we left it at that.
New Year’s Eve came, dressed up with our best friends we headed off. A couple of cheeky cocktails and the night was underway! Course after course came out up to Eric’s very high standard. There must have been a couple of hundred diners.
To my delight, and without asking, each of my ‘cheese’ infested courses had been replaced with a different dish. My point here is Eric knows his customers. For all I know there may have been a big sign up in the kitchen saying, ‘awkward sod on table 8’. To be honest I don’t care. The thing is he and the kitchen team knew. I was quite happy to share said cheeses with Mrs H. In fact she felt mildly disappointed. But I felt really special. They’d gone over and above expectations.
I’m sure customers don’t mind what business or marketing strategy is in place. As long as they are doing the job. They’ve got enough on their plate. But if we can do small things or pick up information given to us allowing us to build good relationships and trust we can make a difference. And how great is it to be told you’ve exceeded expectations?
And as Arnold Schwarzenegger said to Eric (yes he honestly did visit Eric’s) I’ll be back.
By the way do you know who released ‘Upstairs at Eric’s’? (without Googling it!)