Broken locks

Embarrassing story, but a good lesson to be learned.

I was recently at a restaurant. Not just any restaurant, but a well reviewed chef-driven hard to get into place of the moment kinda restaurant.

I went to the restroom. Had to go. Happens to everybody. It was a small one room restroom with a crappy lock on the door.

You can guess what happened. The nightmare for many. Somebody walked in on me, at just the wrong moment.

Use your imagination.

One of the worst moments for me in a long time.

Let’s learn from this (restaurant side)

A problem like this will usually not show up on Yelp, due to the nature of things. So therefore the restaurant doesn’t hear about the problem. And therefore it never gets addressed. And then it will happen again.

The restaurant workers used the same bathroom. So they knew about it.

The restaurant owner used the same bathroom. So he knew about it.

Every person walking in there jiggled the lock and prayed for the best. Including me.

Will I ever go back there? Probably not. The food was top notch. The wine was incredible and well priced. Everything was better than the previous twenty restaurants I’ve been to.

But that gut feeling of how I felt when … well … use your imagination.

Lesson for restaurants: there are plenty of things that make for bad experiences for your customers that never hit the likes of Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook, etc. Look around. You’ll find them. (The crappy table next to the kitchen; the cold air duct that hits position three at table 42; the edge of the curb that you’ve seen ten people trip on in the last month; the fact that everybody on your patio is shielding their eyes from the sun because there’s no shade …)

Let’s learn from this (everybody’s side)

Every business, in some form, has a crappy lock on a bathroom. It’s the thing that is kinda broken but usually works but we’ll get to it later.

The messy office with the strange smell. Horrible lighting that makes everybody look like prisioners. The too-warm warehouse (so you rarely invite customers over in the summer). The sales rep that smokes way too much and overpowers their sales calls with the smell of American Spirits. The horrible art on the walls. The delivery driver that chews tobacco and spits on his way out of the truck.

We all have broken locks somewhere. Make a list and fix them, please. Before somebody walks in (again).

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