Two weeks ago I had lunch with my aunt at a restaurant that I won’t be returning to.
We met in central London to have a lunchtime curry and found a place amongst a wide choice in Drummond Street, near Euston station.
The food was tasty if a little too spicy, especially for Aunty. That is not why I won’t be going back.
The waitress brought out a jug (pitcher) of water and when my aunt tried to pour the water into her glass, it ended up all over the table. I’ve never seen a jug before that had such a small lip and bizarre shape. The waitress, who’d been there for only 2 weeks, knew that the jugs were poorly designed. It’s not because of the jugs either that I won’t go back to this restaurant.
When the bill came, my aunt decided to treat me by picking up the bill (nice aunt!) so I covered the tip. She found the credit card terminal confusing as did I – until this point I’d never seen a card terminal that required the payer to confirm the amount they were paying by pressing the green button first. I have my own credit card terminal for my business and I’d never seen this type of operation before. It took 2 goes to get the payment made. It’s not because of the credit card terminal that I won’t be returning.
I saw the manager on the way out and decided to mention these couple of niggles. First I mentioned the strange jugs that were great for spilling water everywhere.
“You need to know how to use them,” he said.
“It’s a jug,” I replied. “I shouldn’t need instructions on how to use a jug.”
“You want instructions?” he asked.
“No, I want a jug that doesn’t need instructions,” I said.
“What do you want?” he asked.
“I want you to change your jugs!” I explained.
Then I queried him on the credit card terminal, telling him that I had my own credit card terminal and I’d never seen one operate like the one they were using.
“That’s the law and that’s the way it is,” he explained.
Very calmly and politely I said to the manager “I don’t think I’ll be coming back.”
This is where the manager should have asked me why I wouldn’t be coming back. I didn’t like his attitude. His job at that point was to convert me into a returning customer and which he failed to do because he said NOTHING and let me walk out of his restaurant.
I would say I was so polite that it wasn’t really even a complaint, just a friendly chat. Even so, every complaint is an opportunity for a company to impress their customers by resolving any issues that are raised and demonstrating that they value their customers.
This manager didn’t try and clearly didn’t care about my custom, so why should I care about his restaurant?
I’ll go where I know I’m welcomed and appreciated. There are plenty of restaurants in London.
This particular restaurant was even nominated for Gordon Ramsay’s best local restaurant on his “F Word” programme. It’s pretty clear why they didn’t win.
The lesson here is that in today’s service economy there is plenty of competition and if you’re not doing everything you can to convert first-time customers into repeat business then you are not just missing a trick, you’re running a business that is doomed to fail.
Simon Says Media works with clients to help them attract new customers and to retain them. We can help your business ensure that you don’t let customers walk away, never to return.
To help your business, call us on 020 3358 3321 to find out more.