Friday, December 28, 2012

Good Service

I have done my time in retail and I have this thing about service. An average product can be elevated by excellent service and an excellent product can be made less than average by poor service.

This week we went for a drive to Oxford (rural Canterbury) for lunch at Jo Seagar's cafe. When going to a place that has a 'name' I often feel a bit suspicious that they might think they are all that and a box of crackers or that they don't have to try and impress you because you are already impressed by the fact you might have seen it on TV or read about it in a magazine.

The lovely thing is that it is neither. The welcome was warm, the tractors and toys and play things are provided in a spacious little nook and the staff appear genuinely thrilled to have you there. I like the decor - it's not pretentious and it's not super trendy (everything matches and they aren't going for a retro vibe).

While we were there Jo herself came into the restaurant/cafe she could have breezed through with a cursory smile but she didn't. She came around and waited on tables, she chatted to our boys, she genuinely connected with people in the restaurant.

I left feeling like this cafe is a reflection of Jo herself. It has her name on it and it matters to her that people have the kind of experience she'd want them to have if they were at her home.

I remember having a terrible experience at a fabric shop once and my mum saying to me that service in retail always comes down from the management. If they don't care about their customers neither will the people behind the counter.

You can tell it works in the opposite as well. The staff at Jo's cafe also carry this value system and it makes the dining experience elevated - you feel cared for and noticed even in the middle of a busy lunch service. They take time to make you feel like you are important and to me that is the essence of great service.

 
So today I am loving good service - the kind you can't fake. Jo Seagar's cafe/restaurant is well worth a visit if you get the chance and you'll find it to be a reflection of the Jo you see on TV and in magazines - joyful, warm and welcoming. With good food to boot :o)

This is in no way a paid or sponsored post I just like to give credit where it is due - not that I'd mind if they asked me back or to do one of the cook schools! *wink*

 

16 comments:

Max said...

Is that a hot chocolate i spy there? How gooooood are those hot chocs!

Leonie said...

It makes such a difference to any experience! x

Meghan at MNM's said...

Wow this place sounds amazing. And you never know re the cooking school. It happened to me!!

Cat said...

I went there when I was down last year and totally agree with you!!
Gorgeous place with darling service

Hazel Schreiner said...

Must add that to my Summer to do list, Mum has been telling me to head up there for quite some time!

Have to completely agree with you we always look to our leaders for guidance although we don't always recognise the fact! And it is amazing how a wonderful leader can inspire a workforce, no matter how big or small!!

:) Hazel
www.hazellovesdesign.com

Bron said...

That looks like being in someone's big friendly home... you are right about retail and service too....not often the best at this time of the year either. xx

Mrs A said...

Its so awesome and good food and all the toys are awesome!

Miriam said...

oh yeah I LOVE their hot chocs - so, so awesome!

Miriam said...

I couldn't agree more and it's not that hard to do either :o)

Miriam said...

yeah that would be SO cool!

Miriam said...

it is a lovely place and the kitchen shop is great too

Miriam said...

so true and it's a special quality they have - not sure it could be taught??

Miriam said...

that is such a great description Bron... you really nailed it

Miriam said...

yeah my boys SO love the toys there

jacksta said...

How cool that she was there! Absolutely agree. The mark of a great place is definitely the friendliness or staff. Make you WANT to come back. I have a favourite spot for that very very reason.

Little Miss Flossy said...

I've had nothing but wonderful service every time I've been there - even on the day DH and I rocked up on our motorbikes in the full leathers looking nothing like the rest of the Sunday afternoon crowd!