Friday, March 26, 2010

A tale Of Three Visits to Tantalizers

Tantalizers is a fast food restaurant in Nigeria, though it has been in existence for over 10 years, it has never appealed to me as a place to get some food or snacks, drinks? Maybe but not food or snacks.

On this particular Tuesday after praying so hard at church, my cousin, her friend and i decided to pop into tantalizers since it was just below where we had the church program. The aroma of the food had been disturbing and interrupting my thoughts throughout our prayer meeting and even though i wasn’t a big fan of tantalizers i was excited when my cousin suggested we got a drink from there on our way out.

We walked into the restaurant and to my greatest surprise it looked very appealing and clean , the food displayed was indeed tantalizing. My cousin immediately told me about their sausage rolls which she said tasted good and i thought “yup i did try it”.
Everything was going well until we decided that we were too hungry to wait and would like to start eating our food, at least some out of it while the rest got scanned or quickly scan the ones we were ready to eat while we waited for the rest. You need to have been there to see how this lady looked at us as if we were not human beings, she almost snatched the food from us and beat us up. While she was acting like a dog, her colleague was acting like a wilder animal to another customer almost biting her face off. At this point all i wanted to do was to leave and i said to myself “I should have known better”.
I left the restaurant trying to figure out what was behind the sales attendants’ attitude and why they frowned their faces at us as if we were disturbing their quite time. My experience negatively affected the taste of the freshly baked sausage roll i bought. I decided I’d like to visit tantalizers again, well..not because their service was great but because i wanted to observe the attitude of those sales attendants once more. I tried to convince myself that on this particular day i visited, the attendants got dumped by their boyfriends.

My second visit
So i returned to tantalizers the following week, let’s say the girls got hitched last weekend. The particular girl that attended to us was so friendly it was hard to believe that this was the same place we visited last week. the sales attendant smiled at us and didn’t mind us drinking our Pepsi before she scanned them. She was very excited and this made me want to go back another day. On this day the hot sausage rolls tasted so delicious i had to buy an extra one for the road.

My third visit
On my third visit... oh how I loved their service, the lady who attended to us greeted us politely, took our order with respect and didn’t complain or frown at our indecisiveness instead she smiled and assured us that we weren’t bothering her when we tried to apologise. Can I also add that i actually loved their roasted chicken i have never dreamt of buying food for my personal consumption from Tantalizer but now i honestly wouldn’t mind getting their roasted chicken to complement my lunch every other day..

First impressions count a lot ; there might never be another opportunity to impress your customers other than the first time. What if i didn’t make the second and third trip back there? i would have had only bad stories to tell about the restaurant. Consistency is very important when delivering quality services even if it is for the mere fact that you are not certain your first time customers will return the second time, at least leave them with good memories the first time they visit. You never can tell who they will share their customer service experiences with..

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Browns Or Bounce

Browns is this very comfortable cafe/restaurant in GRA I stumbled upon in January when my friends and I were looking for a place to hangout. Ooh I loved it, they had this section with comfortable sofas, nice paintings and throw pillows, you and your friends can sit in there all afternoon stuffing your face with food, gossiping or doing some work. The ambiance was very good though because of my "diet" I didn't have anything to eat. My friends enjoyed their food. I noticed that there was a waiter waiting on us through out our stay, which I really liked.
A month later I was back there for my sister's surprise birthday party, we sat in that same nice room with the same efficient waiter waiting on us. We ordered our food and it came on time, we were treated with respect even though at some point I realised the waiter was addressing us as "Aunty". The manger came in to give us yummy chocolate cakes on the house. It was a good one. The service was fabulous.
The next time my sister visited there for another birthday party, the service was very good but the food tasted stale. I wondered why???
The answer jumped at me, one night when my friend and I drove to browns and arrived at their gate at 8:10pm only to be bounced by a security officer. "Why?" We asked, confused. Politely he explained that Browns was NOT closed, in fact they open till 10pm, but for security reasons we couldn't get in after 8pm. Looking in their parking lot there were only about 2 cars in there. Now why wouldn't their food taste stale? its a great place that newly opened not very well known yet therefore they don't get that much customers. So why can't they be a tiny bit more flexible?
I liked their customer service and I have to say that their apple pie and ice cream was heaven!!. Though I can understand their plight on the on-going security issues In Nigeria, but there must be a way to deal with it without losing customers or serving stale food..