For those businesses that don’t think that social media is important, guess what- it is.
A few months back I had an unpleasant incident at Gigi, a midtown Miami restaurant. To make a long story short, I wanted an off the menu dish that I had eaten there as a special and had then ordered repeatedly as an off-menu item, and I was told that they wouldn’t make it. I don’t know what changed, but despite the fact that they had been making the dish for me for months, they decided that they were not going to make it anymore.
I wasn’t asking for a lasagna. I was asking for vegetable fried rice, which coincidentally is the base for duck fried rice- a regular menu item. The restaurant was practically empty. Still, they were steadfast. So I took to Twitter to express my dissatisfaction with the decision because I felt I was being discriminated against due to my food allergies and vegetarianism.
After weeks of back and forth and pleading, yesterday they listed vegetable fried rice as a special and they invited me to go back and have some. I did. The manager even hooked me up with some ice cream, which I thought was very nice.
To be honest, I would have never gone back had it not been for their social media response. I have to give them props for listening.
Still, even after I went back I grew a bit resentful. See, sometimes is not just about communicating but about knowing what to say. While I was there I was told via Twitter for the second time that since I am just one (or at the very least part of a very small percentage) of 14,000 monthly customers, that they can’t accommodate a special request…
…even when they apparently pre-make their rice, which Google informs me is the base for any type of fried rice:
As a business woman, I know that making your customers feel like they are not special does not get you any brownie points. As a consumer, I know that when someone makes me feel that as a member of the minority I don’t matter, I can take my business elsewhere.
This is what I intend to do.
As it turns out, our favorite restaurants are willing to work with the .01 percent.
A pretty foolish and callous way to ruin the dining relationship. Sad.
When it’s more important to be right than to please the customer, you’ve failed in business.