I went to a smart new bar opened up here in Singapore the other day. I went with 2 good friends, one who has an excessive experience in the hospitality business and runs some of the best restaurants in Singapore. We all share a passion for good service. I arrive as the first one to the venue and I am asked whether I have a reservation. “No, I don’t.” The waiting list is half an hour to an hour and I can’t wait in the bar. “ok, well add me to the list because this is the place we have agreed on, so I’ll stay. So after having flourished for 15 min in the entrance, a lady gets me and says that I can now wait in the bar. The surroundings are stunning and the bar is super cool with bartenders dressed very elegantly and I am now feeling a bit more appreciated. The table is now ready and I can wait there with my wine. My friends arrive and all is good. We are looking forward to this as we have high expectations. But then it takes 15 min for menus to arrive. My friend would like a gin & tonic – but then notices a drink some girls at the table next to us are having – “oh, that’s made by a special bartender flown in from Bangkok who is here tonight” – hmm, that might have been worth telling us before. Again, this is a brand new spot – storytelling would have been easy.
· How have you heard of us?
· Do you know what we specialize in?
· Let us tell you a bit about how we became.
People are moved by stories. And stories engage us and make us come back for more – not only good cocktails. We were nearly begging for them to bring us their brand.
However, the evening moves on and we are left with empty drinks, the menu stuck in front of us for too long without being asked what we would like to eat, the nuts come nearly as we are about to leave. And it goes on. The staff seemed unenthusiastic about what they were selling and about us who were in their universe. We wanted to live the universe but left unsatisfied. There simply was a gap between what we thought we were going to get and what we got. A place like that must remember:
· To stir emotions
· To engage their customers and make them feel valued
· To be proactive
· To be efficient and professional at all times.