What is worse than the Great Napkin Shortage of 2008? The Great Napkin Shortage of 2009!
I met my buddy last night at Unos Pizza place…we were going to have a beer. At Unos, they had something called “Snack Hour” where smaller-portions of appetizers are available from $1.99 to $4.99 from 4-7PM.
My wife ordered the onion straws and I got the buffalo wings…and a Gorgonzola Slider. We all got a pint of beer…which was sloppily poured by a server…there was no bartender on site. After the beers and appetizers were delivered, the section of table we were at was already a mess. Beer sloshed all over…sticky…etc. The server/bartender gave each of us one napkin.
One napkin. For a plate of wings, onion straws and a sloppy beer. I tore through that napkin in 2 seconds…leaving it wet and in shreds. Where was the girl to give me another one? Nowhere to be seen. I served myself by getting some flimsy cocktail napkins…those kind that shred into pieces as soon as you touch them.
This story was designed to be an example of a larger issue – restaurants these days are starting to cut back…because of today’s number one excuse for non-service: “The Economy”…yes folks…The Economy being “bad” is a full blown excuse for retailers to not provide their customers with a lick of service. Want ketchup? You get a 1 oz. ramekin of something that is not Heinz…and I only eat Heinz. Want a napkin? You get one. Only one. Want the dash in your FX35 repaired? It will cost you $365. Etc. Etc.
Bottom line: by refusing to give me enough napkins, you will lose me as a customer. If I ask for ketchup and I get a tiny thimble sized ramekin of some red corn syrup paste…you lose me as a customer for life. Is a $0.01 cent napkin worth losing hundreds of dollars in repeat business? If a $1.29 bottle of Heinz worth losing out on hundreds of dollars of business and thousands of dollars in word of mouth advertising? In today’s world…Yes. There is always another consumer out there to replace you. You mean nothing to the Bottom Line. The Customer is Always Wrong.