Happy Hour

Mark Gregory enjoys an exceptional customer experience. Eventually.

It was my daughter’s 18th birthday recently and as she didn’t want my wife and I tagging along on her ‘big night out’ with friends that weekend (I can’t imagine why!) we decided to mark the occasion with a meal at a restaurant of her choice on the big day instead.

She chose Frankie & Benny’s in Newcastle and we arrived there in the early evening, with the birthday girl sporting a colourful “I’m 18” badge the size of a large dinner plate on her jacket lapel, and clutching a big bag full of gifts from her college buddies.

“I’ll still need to see some proper ID though”, smirked Matt - our cheery waiter, as she ordered her very first ‘legal’ cocktail, showing him her provisional driving licence, as we settled down to order our food.

It must be said that the eventual meal itself was completely unremarkable in every respect.  

Not a particularly bad experience, just a culinary non-event.

But then we asked for the bill and Matt scuttled back to the table with the credit card terminal, before announcing that… as it was a special occasion, he wanted to do his bit, by picking up the tab for the cocktail!

Within seconds, my finger was hovering over the ‘Recommend’ button on the restaurant’s Facebook page. I think we told at least three or four acquaintances about this unexpected kindness before the evening was through. I mentioned it to all my Get Carter colleagues the next day and now, here I am, waxing lyrical about the experience on our company website. Despite having declared the restaurant’s fayre as ‘completely unremarkable’.

A former client turned motivational speaker – Jeff Ramm, is evangelical about this type of story. In fact, he collects them. Describing this kind of event as - “Celebrity Service”. I imagine he’d show very little surprise that I appear to have turned into such a passionate advocate for the Frankie & Benny’s organisation.  Where one member of staff did one little thing to enhance our family evening, and more importantly, make a very big difference to our perception of their business overall.

So, “cheers” to you Matt!

Mark Gregory