A Word from Chad ~ March 2015
Every year our team tackles a major initiative to help move our company forward. For 2015, our goal is to evaluate how to enhance the guest experience, so that everyone who enters our doors feel like they are regulars.
A recent experience has made me rethink the entire process. I just returned from one of the great ski resorts of the world – Whistler Backcomb. They do many things right, and the overall experience is top-notch. However, I encountered some glaring exceptions at a couple of restaurants. Since this is an annual family trip, we have a tradition where the last night is deemed “awards night.” We give little tchotchke gifts to our boys to celebrate their success in ski or snowboard camp for the week. We always make our reservations in advance and dine early in the evening for the occasion.
The day before our reservation, the restaurant called to let me know we would need to give the table back by 7 pm for another reservation. Not a big deal, since my boys are 6 & 9 years old, and 90 minutes is more than sufficient. If we had plans with another couple, however, that time frame would have been frustrating. When we arrived, the hostess greeted us and, when she realized we had our two boys, she stated, “I suppose you want kid menus.” I responded that, no our children actually eat from regular menus most of the time. Needless to say, we didn’t leave with a warm & fuzzy feeling regarding the entire experience.
On the flip side, on a recent trip to Shanghai with a group of Northwest hoteliers, we experienced a stellar check-in process at the Grand Hyatt. We weren’t asked to stand in the typical check-in line, but instead were greeted and seated in a lovely lounge area while staff checked us all in after simply giving them our passport and credit card. The whole process did not require more staff than the traditional check-in method we’re accustomed to, and we were all blown away.
We are looking for feedback on how to make the reservation, front desk, and seating process the best in the industry. We would love your input and ideas to help us “reimagine” the guest experience in our restaurants. Please let us know what you love – and don’t – with us, or other places where you have dined or stayed. You can reply to this email with your suggestions or comments, or you can send them into firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you!
President and COO