How to Make a Lasting Impression
Ever walk out of a restaurant feeling elated? It probably hasn't happened too many times, or if it does happen, it may happen over and over again at that one place you love. Take a few seconds to think about the last restaurant you visited that left a lasting impression on you, and more importantly - why?
We're guessing that maybe, you just don't know? Perhaps one thing in particular didn't stand out above the rest and maybe it was just the experience in general? That my friends, is the power in the details.
Gone are the days where you can have great food to go along with poor service or atmosphere. Gone are the days when you don't have to worry about the details, because now more than ever, it's all in the details. What are the details you may ask? Well, how about sitting there in a tastefully designed dining area, biting into your flavorful burrito and looking down at a beautifully designed basket wrapper. How about having a sparkling clean reclaimed wood counter to dine on, how about having that cashier look sincerely in your eyes and thanking you for your business. While none of these in particular can make an experience exceptional, all together - they become very powerful.
The truly successful QSR's of today are sticklers for details. The CEO's, founders, presidents pay close attention to floor-level indicators as much as they do their sales reports. They know that customers that have been wow'd are customers that will not only be returning, but they will be more likely to bring friends, tell friends, leave positive reviews and interact with you on digital media - spreading the word even further. They know that the best marketing is word-of-mouth, and the only true way to get WOM is to have done an exceptional job making their experience perfect.
Just recently, I was dining at a wonderful gourmet sandwich QSR in Southern California. Sitting there, biting into my thick tasty sandwich, something caught my eye - all the way next to the floor boards was, 'EST 2013' in custom metallic wordpress lettering. These owners went out of their way in adding soul and flavor not only in their food, but in their atmosphere inside. As you can probably imagine, a detail like that is a telltale sign that the entire place was focused on the small stuff - from smiling and well-trained cashiers, to food that was styled and prepped, to a little nicely designed business card with a quote of the day being left in the basket - you get my drift. Of course my meal and general experience would have been amazing either way - but with the details it takes everything to the next level - the level of truly successful restaurants.
If you want to truly succeed in this cutthroat world of QSR's - do a refresh on your brand. Take some time to reflect on how well you are sweating the details. The funny thing about sweating the details is that it sounds demanding and difficult, but it's actually the easy way to get to easy-street.