Last week I had a catch-up with a mate who I’ve known since I was two, yet we don’t see each other nearly enough (busy lives, modern day pressures etc etc…).
As we usually leave it a while between catch-ups, we have to go somewhere we can sit for a while, relax, and – nearly always – eat.
We grew up and went to school in the same area and don’t live miles from there now, but not close enough for it to be considered convenient to get to, yet … every single time we agree to meet, and can’t think where to go, the default answer is the same: Taste of Raj, Palmers Green.
Why do we do this? Because the service we receive is out of this world – we’re made to feel like house guests every time we go there.
The owner – Anwar – shakes our hands and gives us a hug when we go in, and asks how we are in a way that comes across as genuine – never forced. He even asks how my friend’s dad is, as the two of them used to go there quite a bit.
Once inside, there is never any rush to order food, and they’d bring us endless free poppadoms if we let them.
Sometimes Anwar even sits down and has a general chat with us – what we’re up to, if he’s been busy etc – if the restaurant isn’t too packed.
Once we order, there is never more than a 20 minute wait before our food arrives, and soft drinks are topped up again and again, at no extra charge (in pint glasses: I’ve often wondered how they don’t actually lose money on soft drinks).
At the end of the meal, we’re always brought the following: a pile (and I do mean ‘a pile’) of chocolates on a plate, a pile of orange slices, hot hand/face towels, and a hot brandy each.
I’ve yet to go there and not be offered another hot brandy, straight after the first. Again, no extra charge for this.
We were even allowed to sit and chat for about half an hour after we’d paid the bill, last week – no rush to kick us out.
We left, having received another handshake and hug, and an ‘all the best!’
Give me this kind of experience over somewhere like the Cinammon Club, any day of the week.
I’ve never asked if Anwar owns any other restaurants, but I hope he does: it’d be a shame if the service he offers was limited to just the one restaurant.
What’s interesting, as well, is that Taste of Raj isn’t even that pricey. He could whack those prices up tomorrow and I’d still go there, as I know it’s ‘safe’ – I know I’m guaranteed to be looked after.
He’s a lesson to all businesses, big, small, or medium: give good service and the rest will follow – people will come through the door / call you up.
They’ll be willing to talk highly of you (even be bothered to write a whole blogpost about you…), and the chance of anyone ever having something bad to say about you/your business will be slim to zero.
To my mind, good service wins, every time.