Last week, I had a very heavy cold (1, 2, 3… aaaah). I was not happy. I was snotty and grumpy, had a constant headache, lost my voice (a blessing for many), and generally felt a bit ‘bleurgh’.
But, tough shit – I had work to do and clients who were expecting that work, within deadline.
Not only that, but those clients weren’t aware that I had a cold or felt ‘under the weather’ and, even if they were, it wouldn’t have been relevant: that work was to be completed to my usual standard, whether my head felt full of sawdust or not.
Because, in any business, consistency is key: the same approach or standard, every time. If every client or customer always knows what they’re going to get, and that it’ll be good, then they’ll keep coming back.
Praise be, in this respect, to One Sixty Smokehouse.
I’ve been to this restaurant/bar four times, now – all different occasions.
I’ve been twice to catch up with friends.
I’ve had one date there.
I had my birthday meal and drinks there, on Saturday.
Each time, the food has been spot on (I’ve had different things to eat each time I’ve been), and the service has been quick and friendly, with specific advice on what to choose in terms of food, wine, and beers.
When I went with individual friends, they both really liked the food and said they ‘must tell their friends’ about the place.
The waitresses had good banter with us, but equally left us alone when we just wanted to chat.
When I went there for a date, the waitress acted differently, and treated us like we were a couple, rather than just two mates.
She advised us on the ideal red wine (no, not just the most expensive one) for our meal, and even hid a bottle for us, as that particular one was running out.
Yet again, the food was as good as on previous visits and it arrived quickly.
On Saturday, I turned up with friends, quite late, and we still managed to squeeze onto a table.
The waitress was friendly, dealt with our indecision (even though it was incredibly busy and you could see she was needed at other tables), advised on ideal beers to go with ribs, and got our food to us quickly.
Every single person was happy with what they ordered, and finished off the lot with no fuss, no complaints, nothing … it’s been a long time since I’ve been to a restaurant and there hasn’t even been one minor issues amongst a group.
Again, everyone left the place saying that they must tell their friends about it.
The reason I’ve been there four times, the reason I’ll keep going back there, and the reason I’m writing about them now, is simple: they’re good. They’re consistent. They’re consistently good.
I know what I’ll get, in terms of both food and service, every single time I go there.
That – in any business – is what will keep people coming back to you again and again:
– knowing that what you offer is of a good standard, every time (no ‘off days’)
– knowing that you’re consistent in the way you speak to people and deal with them
– knowing that you never waver in offering the same standard and level of service
So, whether I’m snotty and have a headache or not, it’s irrelevant: same standard of work, every time.