So Fix it Already!

I just got home from 2 weeks in Egypt with my family.  The “shock” of going from dry, desert 95+ degree days to Seattle cool and damp has been hard on my system.  Top that off with a dose of jet lag and a serious craving for an American hamburger.

Bundled in a coat, we ventured out into the chilly night air to a local restaurant in West Seattle on Alki Beach to get that much needed hamburger fix.

When we arrived, most of the  booths were taken except for an open one near the front door.  We specifically said to the hostess; “Anywhere warm please.” She took us to a booth closer to the kitchen and at the bottom of the stairs that leads to the rooftop, seasonal patio.

In only a few minutes we realized there was a serious draft coming down the stairs so strong it felt as though the door to the roof was open.  We asked our server if we could move to one of the other open tables  because of the chill.

Her reply:  “Sure, but it won’t be any better.  The cold air is because we don’t heat the upstairs and it will hit those tables as well.  Everyone complains about it.”

She was right.  We moved and it was only marginally better.  But we were tired and hungry so we ate bundled up in our coats, sitting on our hands until the food arrived.

We spent our meal alternating between shivering, complaining about being cold and brainstorming on ways to improve the situation.  2 modest cost alternatives to consider would be a heavy curtain hung across the stairway to serve as a buffer between the heated dining room and the unheated upstairs. Restaurants in Park City, Utah use this effectively to keep the host staff and patrons from freezing every time the door opens.

Another alternative, an industrial space heater on the landing of the stairs which are cordoned off during the winter to  take the chill off the air as it comes into the dining area.

As an entrepreneur, I understand the need to contain costs and heating an unused space may be expensive, but so is a customer experience such as ours.  If “everyone complains” why has nothing been done to address it? This frosty experience will unfortunately be the way we think of this restaurant from now on.

What issues do you have in your business that “everyone complains about’?  It’s time to find a solution.

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3 Responses to “So Fix it Already!”

  1. nearlywedradio Says:

    I know exactly which restaurant you’re talking about, even though it will remain nameless. We had the exact same experience at the exact same table at the bottom of the stairs when asking for a warmer table. Guess you’d better make sure the owner, whose name begins with a D, sees a copy of this blog post. We’ll all be grateful!

  2. robin ryan Says:

    Sunny once again sees what others don’t — that is what makes her consulting service so worth the investment. Here she gives an example of business owners not fixing problems and staff not caring enough to encourage bosses to “fix’ the problem.

    We’ve used Sunny’s consulting service –she is by far the best expert we’ve met (and I’ve met many) that delivers solutions for business problems that are guaranteed to increase your company’s revenues and client retention.

  3. John Moscrip Says:

    Thank you for your comments and feedback, to everyone. We obviously dropped the ball on the issue of this “cold area” in our Alki location and we will fix it. Thank you for your support and if “nearlywedradio” would please email me at jm@dukeschowderhouse.com I would like to mail a gift for the poor experience. Cheers~ John

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