Bring back those memories of Flo at Mel’s Diner, serving up the special with “Here ya go, hon!” She knew better than to say “Bon Apetite!” No wonder Alice does not live there anymore.
We certainly know that delivery of service in restaurants has begun to change dramatically with human interaction almost a thing of the past. Now, we have so many choices as we enter an establishment. We can sit at a table and be transfixed and entertained. We can place our order, pay, play online poker, choose music, flirt with other tables, even e-mail – all without saying a word, thanks to technology. Who needs a chatty server? I do not know about you, but I miss that “human touch”.
Let’s harken back to Flo and delivery of the product. Depending upon where we dine, we can have flourish (table side presentation or Baked Alaska) or the more routine placement (making sure the order is correct, hot and appetizing). The server with his or her own unique style can help to make the meal more memorable. Personally, I wish we had more servers on roller blades/skates - that is real adventure and excitement. But, not to be outdone, restaurants are becoming more and more crafty with their presentation and delivery of menu items.
One such restaurant, Jafflechutes, in Melbourne, Australia, delivers their sandwiches with a parachute. Seven floors above the street the owners prepare their “jaffles” (toasted sandwiches), and drop them via parachutes to patrons below, standing on a large “X” on the pavement. You pay via PayPal on the company web site and then are directed to the proper spot. Customers are kept up to date via Facebook, regarding "Melbourne's first float-down eatery".
Ordinarily, one might say this all sounds pretty silly and hardly represents a trend. Don’t be so fast to judge, not when you have companies like Amazon testing delivery drones. Change is out there and with technology what we know and expect today will be history tomorrow.
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog 'A Guy Walks In'. LRA is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
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