'...about PR in real time'
We’re in week three of writing a blog about the first thing that comes to mind – day 15. Well, technically day 13 because I missed two days due to previous commitments. One was a day off yesterday, so give me a break!
Speaking of that day off, today’s blog is about something interesting that happened while out and about. I spent most of my day running errands that had accumulated over the first quarter of 2011 – you know, fun stuff like vehicle maintenance. I did have time for a lunch date (with my wife of course). We hit up the Macaroni Grill because we’re exciting like that.
We were seated close to the open kitchen area and had the liberty of overhearing an employee’s opinion over the fact that the cooks didn’t have a particular dish ready. He used a colorful metaphor (Star Trek IV reference!) and, unfortunately for him, due to it being early and not very crowded, his voice carried.
We both heard it and did some rubbernecking in the general direction. Before we knew it, the manager descended upon us and immediately apologized for the language, offering to pay for our meals. We politely declined, telling him it was no sweat and we’ve all had a moment like that, especially on a Friday. The manager was very sincere and very sorry thanking us for understanding but saying it was unacceptable.
No more than two minutes later our waitress comes over and apologizes. We repeat that it was no big deal but thanked her for thinking of us. Then, about halfway through our meal the guilty party comes over and apologizes to us – and then to each table. He says it was no excuse and he’s usually behind doors – for good reason, he added – and wanted to ask our forgiveness for ruining our experience.
I write this for two reasons. One, it’s a great example of what I’ll call ‘real time PR’. The Macaroni Grill didn’t waste any time in addressing the situation – and handled it correctly. Although it’s on a smaller scale, it’s a solid lesson for any-sized company to take note of when things go wrong. Step one, identify the issue; step two, solve it.
The other reason I bring this up – have we become desensitized to swearing in public places? Is it ok to do – were my wife and I so quick to dismiss it because we’re used to it? I didn’t really think much of it when it happened, but when I was a kid if something like that had happened there was a good chance my family would’ve left.
Anyway, regardless, their handling of this the right way – and the ‘create your own pasta’ will keep me coming back!
Sorry today’s a short one – opening day, you know. Go Tribe!
4/1/2011 3:06:16 PM Comment on '...about PR in real time'