Do customers like surprises? This one does!

Last week I had the opportunity to meet one of my newsletter subscribers. Bonnie and I have been in touch over the years – virtually. We had met through a mutual friend from Maine. She had gotten in touch recently about booking information. She is hoping for me to speak at one of her company quarterly meetings. When she told me she had just moved back to CT, and CT is only an hour by an hour-and-a-half, I suggested we do coffee or something stronger.

She chose breakfast. YAY!! My favorite meal of the day. I KNOW I’m gonna like this lady.

O’Rourke’s Diner is in Middletown CT. It’s a diner which has been featured on one of my favorite Food Network Cooking Shows: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. (Hey Guy Fieri, I’m still hoping you’ll pay a visit to The World’s Only Virtual Diner Fighting Hunger!!!)

There were specials on the menu that morning. One was “Michelle’s Special.” It was explained to us as “whatever the chef comes up with, it’s a surprise and you’re taking a chance.”

Chance. Risk. Fun. The unknown. SIGN ME UP!!!!!

My mother used to say I would eat dog crap. (Well crap is not the word she really used.) It was her comment about me always wanting to try everyone else’s food. Given the customer experience that O’Rourkes provides I wasn’t even hesitant about ordering Michelle’s Special. I also thought it only appropriate that I order it if not for the fact of the namesake of the person mutually connected with Bonnie with me – Michelle.

So what was Michelle’s Special?

Well it was a couple of eggs Benedict and some pork and some butternut squash/turnip casserole-y hash thingy with broccoli rabe and a  few potatoes. Basically it was ingredients from some of the other specials that morning (plus probably some leftovers from the day before.) It was delish!

If you think about it my meeting with Bonnie was just the same. Chance. Risk. Fun. The unknown.

People like surprises. They like to take risk. They like to have fun. There is something about the unknown that is alluring for some. Now on the other hand, $16 (which I found out when the bill came) for a surprise breakfast could have ruined someone’s day had they not liked it. But then again, that type of person probably would not have ordered it in the first place.

What about you? Do you like surprises? What was the last surprise you recall? What was the last thing you did to surprise a customer? Customers like surprises! 

So do employees.

Oh and in addition to the surprise of meeting a great lady and my surprise breakfast, there was one more surprise……Bonnie’s boss told her to pick up the tab! Woo-Hoo!!!


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