First date night in months! We ended up at Fratelli (now closed), an outstanding Italian place downtown, choosing a table outside to enjoy the warm weather. The waitress arrived immediately with two bottles of water in hand.
“I don’t know if you’ve heard but the reservoir that serves downtown has been shut down temporarily for contamination. Here’s some water for you, I know it’s hot out. What else can I get you to drink?”
Have you had a pizza with fontina, roasted grapes and pinenuts? I still daydream about it! After a lovely meal and giddy on our freedom, we took advantage of the last scraps of babysitter time and headed over to the well-known ‘dessert place’ in town.
It took about five minutes for the waiter to acknowledge our presence at the table. Within one second of approaching the table, we were greeted with:
“We have no water.”
“We have no water, so don’t order anything that has water in it. That includes any of the fountain drinks.”
Exactly where do you go from there? The service continued in this way, and we had a lot of time to reflect on and discuss what we’d just experienced.
A business that really gets customer service will anticipate the needs of its customers even before the customer knows they need something.
Someone at Fratelli had taken the trouble to go the store and purchase all of that water for their customers because it would make their experience more comfortable.
I wrote to Fratelli telling them this story and letting them know how much we appreciated their foresight. And I didn’t write to the ‘dessert place’ because with so many places to eat in Portland, I’d like to support the ones that are doing it right.
What experiences have you had where a business really anticipated your needs? Have you let a business know they were doing a great job? A lousy job?