Great Expectations

I just spent several wonderful days in Deer Valley, Utah with my hubby, John Murphy and 4 great friends.  Two of our friends work in the hospitality industry and were SOOOO excited about a new, very posh resort recently opened in Deer Valley.  We met there for lunch.  The day before, one even posted a comment on his Facebook page about how much they were looking forward to the experience.

Three of the group arrived first and were seated.  Then nothing. No waiter.  No water.  Nothing.  About 10 minutes later, the rest of us arrived.  Five more minutes and finally a waiter. He filled half the water glasses, ran out and disappeared for another 10 minutes.  He returned, filled the balance of the water glasses and finally took beverage orders.  It is now 25 minutes after the first guests arrived!

When the beers arrived, they had been pre-poured at the bar.  The partially filled glasses and the bottles with the remaining amount were placed on the table but in no particular fashion and certainly not with the labels facing the guest who had ordered it as is proper.  The beer should have been poured at the table in sight of the guest.  While none of this would matter in a neighborhood pub, we are in a reported 4 star property where the discriminating clientèle knows the difference and cares!   My two hospitality friends raised an eyebrow but said nothing.

One of the other guests had ordered a dark, stout Guinness.  He was disappointed to have it served in a skinny stemmed glass, almost a flute.  Some beers, like certain wines, need specific glassware and a stout is typically served in a wide-mouthed, large glass.  According to those who love the drink, it alters the taste.
The food was fine but not outstanding enough to overcome the failings in service.  The price tag for lunch was expensive and in line with our expectations for a posh, high-end resort.  Too bad the service was not in line with expectations as well.

Is your service in line with your prices?  Is it in line with customer expectations?  Every business has a reputation or makes a promise with their mottos or advertising – are you living up to yours?  Are you exceeding yours?  In a down economy, there is no room for a lukewarm experience.

Even posh, high-end resorts can fail as evidenced by the scheduled closure May 2 of the Ritz Carlton at Lake Las Vegas.    Don’t let YOUR business be done in by a failure to meet the customer’s great expectations!


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