This is a blog that describes the experience of a customer regarding the failure of service and how the restaurant staff has responded to it. The service system, the policy to respond to customer requests and management of the service failures are discussed in the blog.
It was a thanksgiving day in the US, i.e. Thursday, 24th November 2016, and the Merlo Café, Brisbane has just begun to start the day for its customers, Since it was 9’ clock in the morning, there was a little crowd in the fifty seater café. The Chai Latte outlet of the Merlo Café chain on the Redbank Plains Road has many other food joints surrounding it, such as McDonald’s, etc. One of the customers approached the front office manager of the Café and requested to provide brunch for four people as part of the thanksgiving party. After inquiring about the requirements of the customer, the manager noted down the order with the following items for the brunch to be served at a corner table that has a view to the Redbank Plains Park. The order included protein balls, Gourmet Italian sandwiches, pastry of the choice, fruit salad with exotic fruits and special cream and other common foodstuffs.
The table was ready by 10.50 Am to receive the guests at 11 am. When the guests arrived, the staff cordially served the items ordered for the party. When the waiters were serving the table, the guest noticed that the protein balls were missing, and instead, the croissants were served. The host alerted the waiter and soon the manager rushed to the scene. The manager apologized for the mistake and confessed that protein balls cannot be prepared because the chef who makes them is absent due to a family emergency. The manager humbly stated that the dish cannot be served but would do all the possible to make the thanksgiving occasion a memorable one for the guests. The manager promised a thanksgiving special music to be played for the guests and quickly arranged a local band to perform in the café for the next three hours. This incident happened because of the failure of the verification systems in the café, the manager should have enquired from the kitchen about the availability of the ordered items.
Apart from the slip of supplying croissants instead of protein balls, the brunch was superb for the guests. The experience at the café can be analyzed from three angles i.e. service process, response to customer requests and issues, and serving staff behaviour. The service was excellent because the items served were of high quality, the timing of the service was good, the café maintained a clean and cosy ambience, and the manager displayed clear customer-friendly approaches but failed on the out-of-stock information while taking the order. However, the manager did his best to provide a memorable experience to the customers by apologizing for the fault and arranging a music band for free to enrich the customer’s thanksgiving occasion. Secondly, the café was able to understand the needs of the customers and comply with the requests of the customers with the right response. The café provided a great experience and friendly culture to the guests.
The café can improve its service system by involving the kitchen department to ensure the supply while taking the order. However, the response to the customer embarrassment was excellent, and the company can continue with its customer-friendly culture.
Stein, A., & Ramaseshan, B. (2016). Towards the identification of customer experience touch point elements. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 30, 8-19.
Cetin, G., & Dincer, F. I. (2014). Influence of customer experience on loyalty and word-of-mouth in hospitality operations. Anatolia, 25(2), 181-194.