What’s Wrong With This Picture?

October 4, 2008 by Andy Ebon

black-bear-breakfast.jpgBlack Bear Diner is one of my favorite breakfast places. I had a morning meal there, last Friday, with Jodi Harris (The CEO of Fun, Sight’n’Sound Events). It’s a relatively small chain of restaurants (38 locations) that feels like a local establishment.

Everyone is courteous. They recognized you when you arrive. The waitresses know your ‘usual,’ and refill your coffee cup with need to be asked. The portions are generous and the prices are moderate. What’s not to like?

Now, as the headline says, “What’s wrong with this picture?.” Look closely. It’s the wimpy, wilted lettuce, underneath the orange slice. Friday, I ordered multi-grain pancakes with strawberries and sugar-free syrup (it’s a diabetic thing). The garnish is a fresh orange slice on a wimpy, slice of wilted lettuce.

I understand a leaf of lettuce with a burger and fries. What is leaf of lettuce doing on the underside of an orange slice, with pancakes? I mean really. It’s incongruous, it’s bizarre. It’s contrary.

And it’s not even a fresh, crisp lettuce leaf. It’s wimpy and wilted. I have now taken to asking the waitress-of-the-day (Friday it was Deane) to banish such wimpy, wilted lettuce from my plate.

The truly humorous thing is that when asked, “So tell me, what’s the history of putting a wimpy, wilted leaf of lettuce under every garnish?” the answer is something akin to “I don’t really know. We’ve always done it this way.”

In this case, the wimpy, wilted lettuce is not going to stop me from patronizing the Black Bear Diner, but it raised a bigger question.

What does the “wimpy-wilted-lettuce factor” have to do with Wedding Marketing in your DJ Entertainment business?

What little thing are we doing that is annoying our customers and could be changed, simply, without a cost factor or any great effort? What are your doing ‘because you’ve always done it that way or just haven’t given incremental-improvement, much thought.’

  • Are you a DJ who is sloppy about taping down wires? Do you use grey duct tape, when black stage tape would make a better appearance?
  • Does your crew set up gear, dressed in a t-shirt and ragged jeans? How about a custom company polo short (with logo), and khakis?
  • Does your DJ seek out the Banquet Manager or Catering Manager, immediately upon arrival to ‘touch base’ or just wait until they poke their head into the room.
  • Does your website have photos that take 3 minutes to load because they are processed 5 years ago? Are your testimonials from 1999?
  • Do you do a good job for the client, but never properly acknowledge a referral?
  • Do you only call clients and peers to ask for something or to vent? How about calling just to see how they’re doing, and not to ask for anything?

It’s no secret that there are some challenging times ahead. Distinguish yourself by doing little things well.

What’s your wimpy-wilted-lettuce factor? Identify and fix it. No fanfare.

And another thing… I never mix my soul food with caviar pie!

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Blog

PS: If you live in the Western United States, go visit a Black Bear Diner near you. And if you see wimpy, wilted lettuce, point it out. And tell them, Andy from Las Vegas said, “Take it off my plate!”

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Andy Ebon Andy Ebon (78 Posts)

Keith Alan has been in the DJ biz since 1975, started hosting weddings in 1982 and went full-time in 1993. While personally hosting over 60 weddings a year on the weekends, his mid-week programs generate income through out the year. Young children and seniors are the strong points of the business. Outside of the weddings division of Keith Alan Productions, Keith’s summer program, Campardy™ has grown from 1 event in 2000, to 75 events within a 6 week window! Keith is busy with game shows, trivia, photo booths and extreme bingo the other 46 weeks of the year.


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