Are You Missing Dessert?


Are you missing dessert?Tonight my family and I went out for a quick celebratory dinner. My son had been given a 2nd grade “Shining Star” award and we took the family out to a well-known chain restaurant for a fun meal together. At the table the conversation quickly turned to dessert, and we’d already selected a delectable-looking Crème Brulee – even before our drink order was taken. We deliberately ordered light entrees to ‘leave room’ for our much-anticipated, sugary-crusted, creamy treat. This was going to be yummy!

Drinks were delivered… and dinner came. A few minutes after we finished our entrees, our server (who had been attentive so far) cleared two of the four plates on the table and asked how our meal was. After the obligatory platitudes she hastened away – and we prepared ourselves to reveal our decadent request to her when she returned for the remaining empty dishes.

She did return about 10 minutes later slapping the check on our table. She wished us a pleasant evening and said that she hoped we’d enjoyed our dinner.


Were we going to be robbed of our Crème Brulee?

After a short family conference about whether to call our server back and bother her with our request, we quickly developed Plan B. [Plan B involved a quick stop on the way home for four of the 31 flavors available at Baskin Robbins.] And so we hastily retreated and implemented our alternative.

While this restaurant isn’t going to be broken by the Walker family’s decision whether or not to eat dessert, this seemingly unimportant experience got me thinking…

Are there ‘desserts’ in your business that customers are not only willing to buy, but ready to buy now and you’re stopping them? Are you missing out on (in this case highly profitable) revenue because your staff isn’t paying attention? Worse, are YOU not paying attention? Are you throwing away all of the time you’re investing in a customer relationship, because you just didn’t ask what they want?

Your task? Take 15 minutes in your business and see how often you’re leaving money on the table.

Final word: Don’t assume your customers are “done”. Write a script for you and your staff to ask every time. Is there anything else that you can do to help your customers at the end of a transaction, is there anything else they need? Remember, the value is in the relationship, not just today’s sale.

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