This is kind of related to my last past. About having a “local” joint, but it’s more than just that. On Sundays the entire family takes a walk in the park, then we have breakfast at Maison Kayser in Columbus Circle (yeah, every Sunday). Related: It was extra special today because my brother who’s visiting from Austin, TX came with us.
The thing we like about this particular Maison Kayser is they “know” us. Here comes the Love-Riveros posse! The girl up front always gives Bean a treat (major points with Bean on that). And we always get a good table in the back. And the best part our favorite waiter brings us free croissants. My guess is only a few folks get free croissants. Then again, few folks show up every single Sunday. We do and it means a lot they recognize that.
In the long run it’s also a super smart move on their part. It makes us happy, we keep coming back, and over time Maison makes that $10 back and a lot more on us. That’s fine by me. I’d probably still go every Sunday even without the free croissants (shhhh, don’t tell them that).
There is a lesson in here for any company, start up, or establishment. Something good restaurants know and survive on. Treat your best and repeat customers well. If you’re a start up treat those first 1000 customers really, really well. Whatever your version of the “free croissant” is find it and give it to them every single time. Or as PG says, early on do things that don’t scale (I love that line). Folks will appreciate it and they’ll keep coming back for more and be the most loyal customers in the world. Trust me.