I want to tell you about my birthday lunch. A friend picked me up to try out the newest restaurant in town, Chuy’s. I like Mexican food.

I’m headed somewhere with this post that deals with some reading I’ve been doing about the customer “experience” — the idea that you and I are looking for more than just __________ (fill in anything), we’re interested in an “experience.” We don’t want to go shopping, we want to go on an African safari complete with lions, tigers and bears. We don’t want to just go out to eat, we want EXCITEMENT, or some other mood. Me? I just wanted to enjoy the company of my friend, have a quiet enough place where we could talk and get a few bites to eat.

This friend heads up the Mexican food booth at our community’s annual Thanksgiving craft and children’s fair. So, when he saw a group of ladies making tortillas by hand, we went over to take a look. They were standing behind a glass enclosure, so everyone could see exactly how and by whom their tortilla was made. One of the waitresses noticed that we were taking all this in and asked if we had any questions. My friend asked a few questions.

That was it. We sat down at our table and started looking at the menu.

A moment later, that same waitress walked up to our table and said, “Gentlemen, here are a few samples of our tortillas that I just took off the griddle. I thought you might enjoy them,” as she handed us a warmer-dish with tortillas in it.

THAT was nice.

So, I received a very positive “experience.” But I don’t think it was contrived. It was just a waitress that was thinking of someone other than herself. My guess is that there is no entry in a Chuy’s training manual that says to, “Take free tortillas by the table of a couple of old guys that happen to be interested in the tortilla process.” And that’s what made it pretty great.

We want to do that too. And, frankly, that’s a real problem. I’ll tell you about it in my next post, but if you want to look at our home page, you’ll see our take on it.

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