We recently ate at Chow Bar in New York City. The dessert I ordered was excellent . . . green tea ice cream on fresh ginger snap cookies. The flavor combination was delectable.
Last night, we had finished dinner and were talking about desserts when we remembered the one from Chow Bar. As I sometimes do, I decided I needed to recreate it at home. Now.
The problem was, it was 8:30pm. The grocery store had ginger snaps but no green tea ice cream. Other markets that stock green tea ice cream had already closed. Sure, we could always recreate the dessert some other night but once the memory was in my head, the taste was in my mouth.
It was now almost 9pm on a weeknight. Where was I going to get green tea ice cream?
Then it hit me. Sushi Mike’s!
I hadn’t yet been to the popular sushi joint on the corner of our street but I assumed they must serve green tea ice cream. Doesn’t every sushi joint?
So I strolled in and calmly waited. I explained my odd request for take out green tea ice cream to the server. She strolled directly over to the restaurant manager who immediately helped pack up a quart in a generic container for me to take home.
This is clearly not a typical transaction for Sushi Mike’s. They sell sushi to be eaten inside their restaurant, not ice cream to go.
Not a word of English was spoken (by them).
She only charged me $3. (So I tipped her $2 more.)
There was never a moment of hesitation or debating whether selling green tea ice cream to go is ‘against policy’.
Because of this level of service, I’ll definitely be bringing friends to Sushi Mike’s again for a big sushi dinner. For 2 minutes of customer-focused thinking, they just gained themselves a repeat customer. And I’m sure my next bill will be well over $3.
When your customers ask for something outside your scripted playbook, do you accommodate them? Does everyone in your organization have the authority to accommodate them?