Every business is a service business.

We apply the tools that make service businesses stronger through better strategy, innovation, marketing and day-to-day management.

Thank you for joining the conversation.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Table (and expectations) for Two

It’s my turn to pick the restaurant for date night.

When I requested input on what type of food my spouse was in the mood for, her only reply was, “let’s try something new”.

Immediately, the task of choosing the dining experience for the night got more complicated than I ever intended.

When we’re experiencing a new service for the first time, our sensitivities are heightened. We pay more attention to the physical environment, the people providing it and the way in which they do so. In the restaurant setting, this means that EVERYTHING comes under the microscope: how easy it is to find parking, the wait, the atmosphere inside, the manner of the host, bus and wait staff, of course the food, the other diners, and on and on. In a new restaurant, I’ll probably use the facilities just to get the full atmosphere effect.

Only one thing could create greater expectations sensitivity than trying a new service yourself - choosing a new service experience for someone else.

Not only do you have your own internal evaluation going on, you’re also indirectly responsible for the experience of another. In addition to how you experience the meal, you’re intensely aware of the experience your partner is having, because ultimately, they put their trust in your selection, and you want to make sure their experience is a good one.

Now, rather than just going to OpenTable for one of our standbys, I’m on the internet reading reviews, making calls to foodie friends, going over drive times and other planning minutiae that I would never otherwise consider.

This is taking about 10 times longer than I had intended, so I’m copping out.

When we were in the Tempe / Scottsdale area, there was a hipster sushi place called RA we went to frequently. They’ve imported the experience for the Leawood, KS crowd, and so I’ll use a decisions loophole to find a place that is both new (to here) yet familiar (to us).

Of course, now we’ll be evaluating this experience against the ones we had at the former Arizona version, a tough matchup, given that we were younger, (maybe even hipper), and less discerning than we are these years later.

No comments: