A Tim Taylors, a Guinness and a Coke

I was out a couple of nights ago with some friends, where we went to see The Disaster Artist, but I’ll talk about that in another post. We went to an early evening showing, so we got something to eat afterwards. One of friends decided that we should go to a little place called Jumbo Eats in Soho for a wrap.

On getting to this fine eating establishment, I quickly realise that my friend is on first name terms with the owner, and was giving us newbies suggestions on what to order. You must be such a good regular to have that sort of relationship with a business.

It reminded me of being at University…

In the 1990s BBC2 would normally show the Star Trek of the day on a Wednesday at six o’clock. We were poor students so couldn’t afford Sky. So, that was the only Trek we got weekly. Two of my housemates and I would watch the episode of the week and then proceed to the pub afterwards.

The local pub was The Beaumont Arms, a proper old-fashioned English pub. They did a special then, a drink, a mixed grill and a desert of your choice for I think £5. Even at the time it was a pretty good deal. The portions were large, the food good and the company brilliant. It was perfect.

As we would go directly after the episode ended, the School House Boys (My attempt at making us sound cooler than we were) The Beaumont Arms at five minutes to seven. The order was always the same, and eventually we would walk in as our drinks were being poured. A Tim Taylors, a Guinness, and a Coke. We would put our money at the bar, and proceed angelically to our table.

It was so OCD that we always sat in the same places on the same table. One time, when the Beaumont was really busy, they even reserved our table for us. As far as I was concerned, that was the best service I’ve ever received anywhere. On the rare occasions when we wouldn’t make it, we would have to phone them to say that we weren’t going to make it.

There was one problem with The Beaumont Arms, and that was you had to walk up hill to get back to school house.

I’ve never really experienced anything like that before or afterwards. I’ve gone to the same café for breakfast on a weekend morning and ordered regularly, I’ve done the same thing with takeaways. But, I’ve never been in a situation where routine had taken over. Some would say that it is taking our business for granted, I would disagree and say that it was excellent customer service.

They did change the chef at one stage, and even though they had taken the mixed grill off the menu they did us a special farewell meal. It wasn’t the same, so the three of us graduated to sixteen ounce sizzling rump steaks. It did cost a little bit more, but it was half a pound of steak.

When the BSE scare happened, Mark asked the landlord if his beef was British. The landlord almost wet himself when he replied that it was. He righted himself when Mark said that it was good because we wouldn’t eat it if it wasn’t. In eighteen months of going there, that was the only dodgy moment.

When they talk about good customer service, it isn’t really about saying empty platitudes. It is about making the customer relaxed, and letting them come to the realisation that they want to come back again and again. We had it for a brief time with the Beaumont Arms, and it was something I missed when I moved to Adelphi Road when I got back from placement.

The funny thing was I had no idea what the landlord was called.

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