Skip to main content

What Sunny’s should have done that Central Tiffin Room did.

These are two experiences I get to hear about, from a couple who went restaurant hopping. A week ago, they dropped in at the Central Tiffin Room for Benne Masala Dosa. The place is packed and so they wait. One of the staff at the restaurant walks up to assure them a table would go free in 5 minutes. Soon enough they are seated. The service is lightning quick and the benne masala dosa turns out to be heavenly. They also tell me the coffee was to die for. They leave elated at the food and dining experience they’ve had. Despite the place being jam-packed, the couple want go back as soon as they can.

A few days later they drop in at Sunny’s. The man at the counter who seems to be the owner is on the phone talking. He barely acknowledges them. Once he is done with his call, the couple asks for a table for two. The one shown isn’t to their liking and so they ask for another. None available, comes the reply. The couple decides to take a stroll down Lavelle Road to check out other restaurants. When they tell the man at the counter of their intention, he isn’t too happy. His displeasure is clearly written on his face. The couple decides to leave.

When the incidents are narrated to me, I am taken aback. You see, the CTR business operates on a classic low cost model. CTR is supposed to drive value to the customer purely on functional lines. Meaning, for a low price you will get tasty clean food and quickly. CTR isn’t about a dining experience. It’s purely food. Contrast that with Sunny’s. For the high prices you pay, you are supposed to get super food and a super experience. Far from anything ‘super’, the couple in question got a cold shoulder from the man in charge. As a business, Sunny’s is supposed to be a differentiated model, and so the value drivers are a combination of great food, service, and an overall dining experience. But none of that comes to be for the couple. Imagine if the counter person at Sunny’s was clued into the brand’s business model. What would he have done? He may not have been able to get the couple a table right then, but he could have promised one later. He could even have offered to keep a table for them the next time they came around and so on. What he instead did was cross Sunny’s off the couple’s go-to restaurant list.

Isn’t it ironical that a low cost eatery got a couple to want to come back based on an overall experience, when the fine dining place should have been doing that?! Think about that. The lesson here? Never mind the business model, experiences that customers encounter have nothing to do with infrastructure or the atmospherics at a service provider’s. It’s the service people and their behavior that matters; to the extent that a ‘budgety CTR’ beats a ‘pricey Sunny’s’ at eliciting customer loyalty via the dining experience provided.

Wow!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Situational Involvement of Consumers

There are two types of involvement that consumers have with products and services, Situational and Enduring. Situational involvement as the term suggests, occurs only in specificsituations whereas Enduring involvement is continuous and is more permanent in nature.

Decisions to buy umbrellas in India are driven by the onset of Indian monsoon. Monsoon rains arrived in India over the South Andaman Sea on May 10 and over the Kerala coast on May 28, three days ahead of schedule. But then, after a few days of rain, South India is witnessing a spate of dry weather. Temperatures are soaring in the north of India. The Umbrella companies in the state of Kerala are wishing for the skies to open up. So is the farming community and manufacturers of rural consumer products whose product sales depend totally on the farming community. The Met. department has deemed this dry spell as 'not unusual'.

India's monsoon rains have been static over the southern coast since last Tuesday because of a…

Prior Hypothesis Bias

Prior Hypothesis bias refers to the fact that decision makers who have strong prior beliefs about the relationship between two variables tend to make decisions on the basis of those beliefs, even when presented with the evidence that their beliefs are wrong. Moreover, they tend to use and seek information that is consistent with their prior beliefs, while ignoring information that contradicts these beliefs.

From a strategic perspective, a CEO who has a strong prior belief that a certain strategy makes sense might continue to pursue that strategy, despite evidence that it is inappropriate or failing.


Ref : Strategic Management : An Integrated Approach, 6e, Charles W L Hill, Gareth R Jones

Wearing Cuba means Walking Cuba

There's something ethereal about wearing 'Cuba'. Suddenly its the streets of Havana, smoke filled and lit by the groovin', more than the lights. The bars are packed to hilt and dreamy women seem to glide by. The feeling's beyond magical.

How did I get there?

Before I explain, I gotta tell you about the power of brands to take you places. Brands bring with them an ability to prompt you to conjure up the unreal. They can transform your reality into fantasy. And consumers are more than willing partners to brands as the drudgery they face in everyday life begs an injection of fantasy. Brands that operate in a zone of the unreal do the conjuring act as there's nothing else that consumers can call for, while making judgements. For instance, what should I be judging the lip paint on? Its colour and tone or its ability to turn me into a diva?

Cuba's a perfume. The moment I wear it, I am traipsing the streets of Havana. Its smoke filled bars I see. Its music I hear and…