The little extras

We recently ate a late night dinner at the Nob Hill Cafe in San Francisco. It’s a cozy, bustling little cafe with the aroma of fresh food and spices emanating from the kitchen.

As we waited to order, our waitress brought us the usual pre-meal basket of bread, except there was nothing usual about this bread. A warm, pillowy soft foccaccia, the dense chewy interior contrasted with the firm, crunchy rosemary crust. We all silently looked at each other in amazement as we slowly chewed this heavenly bread.

After we ordered our entrees, we sheepishly asked our waitress for another basket. She didn’t look surprised in the least and with a wink, promised to check if there was any more in the back. She said that people often come early just for the bread and they often run out by then (we were seated around 10pm). We were in luck and she scored us the final basket before our entrees came.

I failed in my attempt to acquire the recipe for this miraculous rosemary foccaccia but next time I’m anywhere near San Francisco, I know I’ll be back. The rest of the food was very good, but the bread was clearly the star.

The basket of bread didn’t cost us a dime (and only cost the restaurant a few dimes), but it was the most memorable part of the meal. It not only brings the same diners back night after night and month after month but the bread is so good, people tell their friends.

It’s the little things.

What little things are you offering your customers to bring them back?

What little things are you doing to help them tell your story?

One thought on “The little extras”

  1. A Google search for:

    “Nob Hill Cafe” “san francisco” bread

    yielded almost 2000 results. That’s a pretty good argument for creating something customers will want to talk about. And this isn’t some big restaurant chain. If 2000 pages have comments about this bread written down, you can be sure that 10’s of thousands of people have heard about it by word of mouth….

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