I guess one of my biggest regrets is not having spent more time in other cities in the last 15 or so years.
Vancouver is a "Foodie" town. (this is with rose coloured glasses)
Vancouver is a mean and dirty town when it comes to the restaurant business, on every street there is 2 or 3 of the same types of businesses for the customer.
And the customers know this and vote with their feet.
I do respect the customer,and I know which side of my bread is buttered.
I also know that almost every customer that walks through my door, or through anyone elses's door is looking for a free lunch.
Now, take for instance my "customer card", which I offer to customers at a nominal fee of $10.00 and allows them to enjoy a 10 % discount on any regular priced item in the store. And we stress this when issueing the card. For the most part nothing happens untill our annual vaction when we close down for 10 in August and in January, when we close down for 5 days. Just before closing down we have a 40% off sale.
Guess how many customers INSIST we give them the 10% ontop of the 40%?
A true diplomat can tell you to go to he77 in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip, and I certainly try......
Does the customer actually respect the owner, respect in a way that acknowledges that the owner is entilteld to cover his costs and earn a little something i.e. a, (gasp) salary?
Does it take a P.O.'d owner to educate them?
When we first opened, we had a no-deposit policy on special order and custom cakes. What a mess, no one honoured it, they would order and "forget" to pick up, or when picking up griping about the price, or insisting that it "didn't look like the picture" in my brochure. (hint hint, I want a discount) After 6 mths we had enough and requried a Visa # on all special orders. That was almost 3 years ago and we have had almost 0 complaints
Yeah, yeah, facebook and all that. Look, ontop of all that, Vancouver city has over 150 foodie bloggers. A true definition of someone gone bonkers is someone trying to please everyone all the time. I've had blooogers complain about the building I'm in, the state of the C.of Vancouver's tree's infront of my building, the fact that I claim to be Swiss but don't have an accent, you name it.
I put out a good prodcut, I charge a decent price, I offer free samples, I offer information about products, I respect the customer, and I also respect myself and my business.