You’ve got to despair when the world’s best restaurant fails at the basics
I was told recently via a very reliable source of an extremely wealthy private equity player, one of the richest people in the UK, who had a despairing experience at the worlds best restaurant.
El Bulli, in Southern Spain is held by those in the know as the world’s finest restaurant. The sort of place where when you ask for a reservation they’ll tell you the date, sometimes months away, when they’ll fit you in, regardless of your social or financial status. The story is that the private equity player wanted to take some long-term clients to lunch at el bulli. Now, as you may expect when dealing with people of this stature, there is an awful lot of planning, airplane hiring, helicopter scheduling, diary management and triple checking. This private equity player has three secretaries who handle his various diaries and activities.
They had followed the due protocol and had made a reservation for el bulli. One of the secretaries was tasked with double checking to see if everything was confirmed with the restaurant and duly rang them up to be told that there was no record of the reservation. When told of the restaurant’s abject failure to undertake one of the central, and most basic functions of a decent retail-leisure establishment he hit the roof. He was heard shouting ‘Those F**@King amateurs!’ . Somehow I don’t think he’ll be returning to that particular restaurant, or telling his friends about how ‘great’ it is.
All too often organizations and websites, forget about getting the basic operational elements right before they leap ahead into peripheral esoteric marketing and branding messages. From the customer view they really want to get to the end destination, if the website becomes a hurdle on the journey then they’re less likely to convert to the action point that actually delivers business to the organization.