Customer service and calorie counts

Three Florida legislators have proposed a bill that would require restaurants to list calorie counts on their menus. While I know there are heated arguments on both sides of this issue, I like the idea.

One reason I like it is because I’ve recently started counting calories and I am disappointed at being unable to measure the impact of my favorite restaurant meals.

But a second reason is because also provides a useful application of how to give customers what they want, plus a little more.

Too many businesses forget they need to go beyond the surface in serving their customers. They need to look beyond what customers say they want. Maybe most customers are not walking around thinking they’d like to see calorie counts in restaurants. But, if you offer that extra service to them, they would find it useful. It would help them be more successful in getting what they want.

As customers, we know what we want to accomplish but we don’t always know how to get there. The people we do business with should help us figure out how to “get there”.

For example, with restaurants, my goal as a customer is to have a healthy, tasty meal along with a pleasant dining experience. I may or may not be thinking about the calorie counts as I look at the menu. But, if the calorie counts were there, it would help me make a more informed decision and thus have a better experience. And, if everything else meets my expectations, I’m more likely to go back (and bring my friends). Then both the restaurant and the customers win!

A restaurant could easily do this (unless they have franchise or corporate policies against it). The next time menus are printed just add calorie counts. Then see what happens. It would give customers an opportunity to tell the restaurant (in there words and their actions) what they really want. And the restaurant would be providing  a higher level of service to their customers. Who knows, they might end up changing the menu entirely because of customer feedback.

They might become the healthiest and most popular restaurant in town.

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz