#846 Canned Olives and Plastic Cups

First off, a BIG welcome to all the wonderful people I met at the Colts Neck Business Association meeting last Wednesday morning and a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who attended my Goal Setting and Life Management seminar on Wednesday night. I hope you all got a significant value in return for the time you invested with me.

#846 Canned Olives and Plastic Cups

There used to be a high-end Steakhouse down the street from me. It was a beautiful space with large multi-paned windows set in a stone façade, a gorgeous mahogany bar that was up a few steps to set it apart, and a glass wall separating the kitchen so you could watch the chef tending dry-aged steaks over a fiery grill and sautéing succulent scallops and giant shrimp in butter and wine. The wait staff was resplendent in sharp black pants, white shirts, and custom aprons. The girl who greeted you at the entrance could have been on the cover of Vogue. The place oozed with class and sophistication. When it first opened, you had to wait at least two hours for a weekend table. Now the parking lot is empty. The lines are faded, and the pavement is cracked with weeds growing freely. The stone façade has big gaps where stones have given way, and it’s covered with vines and neglect. The beautiful chandeliers are dark and have been for many, many years. So what happened? How did a two-hour wait manage to spiral down to a failed restaurant?

I don’t know for sure, but I suspect it was the canned olives and plastic cups.

Herb Kelleher, the visionary founder of Southwest Airlines, famously said, “To our customers, coffee stains on our pull down trays means we don’t service our engines well.”

I remember having a steak, a salad, and a baked potato in that restaurant when the place first opened, and wondering why there were canned black olive slices in my salad. I was also surprised to see that next to the potato there were two plastic ramekins. One held butter, and one held sour cream. How hard/expensive is it to buy good Greek or Italian olives and have someone slice them and, by the way, that same someone could load real, ceramic ramekins into the sizable commercial dishwasher you have back there instead of throwing out the cheap, plastic ones.

Instead, I ate little round rings of rubber in my side salad and felt a little cheated by the plastic cups as I cut into my $45.00 steak.

I don’t know the actual reason that they closed down. It could be that they were over-leveraged. It could be that they were mismanaged or that the partners had a falling out. Maybe someone embezzled a bunch of money or lost a fortune at the track. I don’t know. I only know that a place that was wildly popular and without local competition closed a couple of years after it opened and I believe it was the canned olives and plastic cups. Not the actual canned olives and plastics cups but the implication of the canned olives and plastic cups. If you chose/allowed those, what else did you skimp on? What other details failed to catch your attention?

I’m hyper-vigilant in looking at my website, my events and my marketing materials for canned olives and plastic cups. I want to do my best to be sure you have a great experience with every encounter we have together. How about you? Any canned olives or plastic cups in your business?

Own your sales gene...

Frank SommaComment