Service is (almost) all it takes

I recently visited Trinidad & Tobago. I love to travel, for more than one reason. Besides vacation, new experiences and meeting new people I also almost always get business ideas. Things missing in Sweden, or things that are missing in whatever the place I am visiting. It is also very interesting to test service levels. And to be honest, service levels on T&T were probably the lowest I have ever experienced. Slow service, wrong dish served, unwilling to correct orders etc.

The event that most easily comes to mind is the visit at The House of Pancakaes on Tobago. Strangely, it was always packed, and yes, they had nice pancakes and brunch. I was lucky the first time, so I wondered about my friends hesitations to go back. But, I was wrong. After sitting down at three different tables (one move was voluntary, the other wasn’t) and waiting for more than 45 minutes to order, we finally left when the chef came out to complain to the waiters – “Don’t take in any more people, it will take an hour to get food”. So, getting a simple brunch could take approximately two hours if unlucky.

We left and went to a place nearby, where it was also slow service, but at least better. Another example was a restaurant where my ordered dessert (coconut icecream with chocolate sauce) first didn’t arrive. I ordered it again and got a dessert back reasonably quick, but with strawberry sauce on top, instead of chocolate. So, I kindly informed them what I had ordered. The waiter went out and came back with chocolate sauce on top, but it was in addition to the strawberry sauce I didn’t want. I gave up and ate it all.

But, what happens when The Pancake House opens up on the other side of the street to The House of Pancakes, and they provide good and quick service? People are already talking about The House of Pancakes. The Pancake House would easily push The House of Pancakes out of business. What industry do you feel isn’t providing good enough service? There is no need to invent a new product or a new service. Just think about what industry you think lacks good service.

If you want to learn more about Word of Mouth Marketing I can highly recommend this book.

Kristofer Mencák is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Kristofer Mencák has a M.Sc. in Business Administration from Stockholm School of Economics. He is a consultant, author and lecturer on social media, viral marketing and word of mouth. He has also recently been travelling the world teaching the dance kizomba.

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