Our electronically networked world is a wonderful thing…except when it’s not.  It allows us to communicate instantly across the world…and also allows people to immediately comparison shop just about everything.  Competition goes up while margins go down.  Almost everything has become commoditized…even you!

How to stand out?  How to show you have extra value?  How to develop a relationship that goes beyond the spec sheet?

Yesterday I took my Web Ogre to lunch at The Capital Grille in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.  We were going to go to a different restaurant for a long and leisurely lunch to discuss a bit of business but mostly just hang out and celebrate the end of the year.  I suggested we go to The Capital Grille instead.  He was fine with this, responding “No problem, doesn’t make a difference where we go.” 

We meet at the restaurant at 11:30 figuring we’d beat the holiday rush…luckily since it already had a short line.  I say to the person at the reception desk “Is Regina working today?”  The manager happens to be standing there and says “Yes, but she has a party of 27(!). But give me a minute and I think we can find you a table for 2 with her.”  And he rushes off.

Ogre and I are amazed.  Then the manager comes back and amazes us even more.  He has Regina with him who guides us to a table, chats with us for a minute, and tells us she will watch over us and come back to see how we’re doing.  It is wonderful.  And she did watch over us.  We feel like Big Deals.

Why did I suggest The Capital Grille and ask for Regina?  I had been to this restaurant exactly once before, just a few weeks ago.  Yes, Regina was the server and she was exceptional.  She knew exactly how to play with us as soon as she saw how I joked a bit with her…especially after I found out she is a nurse in her other life.

Then, when she brought the bill (unfortunately all our chatting couldn’t stop this) she asked for my business card.  Of course I asked for one of her’s…and she had her very own Capital Grille card.  How many restaurants do you know that give their servers personal business cards?

A few days later I received the nicest handwritten thank you note from Regina specifically joking (she had me pegged) about something I had mentioned.

Anyone still wondering how The Capital Grille shows it’s value?  After all, it’s just a restaurant.  A restaurant with exceptionally good food, a wonderful wine list, and…spectacular service…but still, a restaurant.

Are people writing a Capital Grille story about you?

 

And then, as we left, Ogre did admit that he was a bit hasty when he said “doesn’t make a difference where we go.”

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