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Just this weekend, the girlfriend and I were discussing where we wanted to go for dinner. We had a pleasant day out and about, and wanted to close it out with a nice big meal.
Problem – it was about 10:30pm.
I figured we could go to a local bar – part of a chain of bars – and grab a nice meal. Bars are open late, especially on a Saturday night. It’s date night – Saturday night.
I called the bar to double check.
“Sorry, the kitchen is already closing, but we’re open for another hour,” said the voice on the phone.
What? Closing before last call? Last call here is not until 1:30am.
We called around to a bunch of places, bars, restaurants – most were already closed, or closing.
Finally, we ended up going to Pizza Hut. Pizza places are always open.
Not the most romantic dinner for two, but still a very enjoyable experience. Good food, prompt service, and they were there when we needed them.
Perhaps it is the never-ending recession we’ve been in, but I remember a time when restaurants and bars were open late on Friday and Saturday nights, because those were the night’s people went out.
All the places we called previously lost our business, simply because they weren’t open.
Want to run a successful business, here’s a tip – be there for your customers.
It’s not rocket science, just be there when your customers are most likely to be looking for you.
This goes for ALL companies, big and small alike. You don’t have to be on call 24-seven, just be there when your customers are most likely to be.
No fancy, deep thinking, mind blowing strategy.
Just be open for business when your customers are in need of your services.
You’d think bars, restaurants and clubs would be open until the wee hours of the morning on Friday and Saturday nights.
When I was a kid in university, Thursday night was bar night – and nothing ever closed until last call.
I’d like to think I’m not THAT old, and times haven’t changed that much that people don’t go out anymore.
And it’s not like we were in a third-world country, or living in the back woods of a small town either.
My girlfriend and I were shocked and bewildered by the lack of places to grab a nice meal and some drinks in one of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities of the world – Toronto.
Toronto, is like New York — only smaller, cleaner and safer.
No, it wasn’t busy in the Pizza Hut. But it wasn’t deathly quiet either – there were a couple of young families with their kids, some teenagers, and us.
When you’re in business, any business is good business.
So it pays to be there for your customers.
Sure, have a skeleton staff, close off a section, or even tell customers that you might take a little longer to get something done, because it’s late.
That’s fine – we’ll understand.
Just don’t leave us stranded with nowhere to go.
That’s far worse customer service than not being there at all.
Because if you want to run a successful business, you have to be there for your customers.
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