Recently we drove from Tauranga to Whangarei and stopped off en route at Matamata for a meal. We needed a quick meal so that we could be on the road again because we did not want to be arriving in Whangarei after midnight.
We first of all went to the a pub meal type restaurant which we had always wanted to try on previous visits to Matamata. We explained our requirements to the dining room manager who bluntly informed us that there was at least a 45-minute wait because the dining room was full. So we thanked him and went around the corner to a restaurant we had tried before, the Redoubt Bar and Eatery. What a difference in attitude! The guy behind the bar introduced himself as Jason, and asked what our names were. This immediately put us on a first-name basis. We explained again our requirements and Jason said there is probably a 45-minute wait for most courses, but then pointed to a group of meals which he said would only be a 15-minute wait. So we selected one course each and sure enough they arrived at our table about 15 minutes later. Within another 15 minutes we were on our way north.
We had been to the Redoubt a number of times previously and it is normally our first choice in Matamata. The service we received there on this latest visit did nothing to change our minds.
Would we go back to the first restaurant? Probably, yes, because they were up front in telling us that they could not serve us in the required time. But they did miss an opportunity, I feel. I have no doubt that there were items on the menu which could have been served with a 10 to 15-minute wait. Had that manager taken the time to explain that, we would have dined there that evening, so he missed out not only on that meal but perhaps others in the future assuming that the quality of the food was up to standard.
So the lesson here is, listen to your customers’ requirements and ponder whether you can adapt to suit their needs even if it is a little bit out of the ordinary.
(Photo taken from Redoubt Facebook page)