Closed for private event

23Aug10

I had some relatives in town for the weekend, and on Saturday night, we decided to try a new restaurant just down the block from where I live. Once we arrived at the door, though, it was clear that our plan wasn’t going to fly. According to the sign in the restaurant window, the venue was closed for a private event.

I’m sure the restaurant priced the rental cost based on how much revenue they would normally take in on a busy Saturday night. But I doubt they considered the loss in business from customers who walked up to the door, got annoyed that they couldn’t eat there, and are less likely to return in the future. To counter this effect, the restaurant needs to offer something to compensate those customers who were turned away.

How might this work? Well, on the same sign that explains when they’re closed to the public, they should add something like this: “We’re sorry that we couldn’t accomodate you today. But if you come back tomorrow and mention this sign, we’ll give you a free appetizer or dessert with your meal.” In practice, it doesn’t really matter what form the offer takes. The important thing is to let customers know that you’re sorry for the hassle, and that you’re willing to reward them for being patient and giving you another try.



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