When my daughter was young, she was a picky eater. Regardless of wherever we were eating, there was one constantly requested food item; the classic grilled cheese sandwich. At the ripe age of four, my daughter was a grilled cheese connoisseur, and it was a menu item that could practically guarantee a peaceful and enjoyable meal. Of course, not every location will offer a grilled cheese sandwich, so the selection of a restaurant became a bit of a balancing act.
During one memorable road trip, we were at a loss to find anything that resembled a grilled cheese. My wife had an excellent idea: we pulled through a drive-thru and ordered a cheeseburger with no pickles, onions, lettuce, tomato, or ketchup. Then, as an added surprise, we asked for “no meat” on the cheeseburger.
The person taking the order was clearly a bit unsure as to exactly what we were trying to order. Suddenly, the objective was clear. “You want a cheeseburger with no meat and no condiments?” Bingo. The bewildered kitchen staff made our order and we received what amounted to a grilled cheese sandwich. At least, enough of a sandwich that a little lady was delighted.
Famed restauranteur Cameron Mitchell has a similar story. While dining with his family, Mitchell’s son wanted to order a chocolate milkshake. Unfortunately, the waiter informed the table, they don’t serve milkshakes. Mitchell did notice that chocolate milk and vanilla ice cream were, however, both on the regular menu. He pressed a bit – could they just add some ice cream with the chocolate milk and make a milkshake? The waiter would not budge. Mitchell ended up ordering the milk and ice cream and mixed the shake with a table knife himself.
Why does matter to us in Two Twelve?
We all know that water at 211° is just very hot water. But when it hits 212°, water is transformed into steam that can drive industry, automation, and power. Our whole premise in the Two Twelve Referral Network is that by adding just one degree of energy, we can convert the ordinary into extraordinary.
In our respective businesses, we’ve probably become very good at narrowing down “what we do” and the sweet spots where we provide top-notch service and make a good profit. But like the stories above, maybe we’ve become too rigorous in our definitions that we failed to remain even slightly flexible. If our goal is to add just one degree of service, effort, energy, or value to our product, then flexibility should not be optional.
How can we over-deliver to a customer despite our internal rules and policies? What can we do individually to “wow” a customer, provide the ultimate in experience, and ensure that we build raving fans? That challenge is something that Two Twelve encourages us to undertake. It’s inherently part of who we aspire to be.
Cameron Mitchell built restaurant empires across the USA and still, to this day, gives chocolate milkshakes to employees during their training as a reminder that (especially in the hospitality business) going the extra mile for a customer is expected. And, while I no longer order meatless cheeseburgers, I am reminded that the willingness to be flexible and accommodating goes a long way to ensuring customer loyalty.
Going the Extra Mile. Adding the One Degree. It’s the way we do things here at Two Twelve.