You've Got One Shot

I went out to lunch with my parents at the Lighthouse Restaurant & Lounge last weekend. It's brand new (they opened for lunch 3 weeks ago), so I should probably cut them some slack, right? However, the more I thought about it, restaurants - and any business for that matter - have one shot to impress their customers. One time. You screw up, you lose customers. You excel, and you gain raving fans.What do you think my experience at the Lighthouse was?

What went wrong:

  • It took three minutes to be greeted at the door
  • There weren't enough menus for each of us to have our own
  • It took another three minutes to get water
  • Another five minutes just to place our order
  • The waiter chose to write nothing down and messed up each order
  • The service remained painfully slow - observed they were under-staffed.
  • We were not invited to come back and see them again (always a sticking point with me)

What went right:

  • They ground the meat for their burgers fresh every morning
  • Our waiter said "Shazam!" when he presented the bill (awkward for a "fine dining" establishment, but humorous nonetheless)

Needless to say, I won't be going back. The service was sub-par, food OK, and decor was a far cry for comfortable or fine-dining worthy. But, it taught me a lesson: you have one shot. Make it count.