Hollywood lied to us! They told us, if you build it they will come. That may be true when you have a huge budget and you pay extras to actually come, and you win an award. But in the food world, it is all about the customer experience.
Today Chef, Monk and I went to an artisanal coffee shop. Everybody has been to Megabucks and enjoyed the “place where everybody knows your name” atmosphere. But when you really challenge your palate, there is nothing special about the actual libations. I have created many off menu drinks to infuse flavor into my drinks. Take the Extra Caramel, 3 Pump Vanilla, no foam, no water Chai Latte, or the Blended Raspberry Lemonade, or Raspberry Vanilla Frappe, to name a few. It wasn’t until today that I realized, I made such complicated drinks because I didn’t care for their menu items. And that my friends, is the genius of megabucks.
Their focus is not on the product but rather on the customer experience. If they take care of the customers, the customers will return. The customer is the focus and because we all love ourselves, we in turn love those who make us feel good about ourselves. Again…genius! The artisan spends all his focus on his craft, his art, and the art is the reward. It is nice if people appreciate it (though secretly all artists crave acceptance/understanding/ or appreciation). The spot we went too puts forth great effort into its goods. The effort could be tasted and appreciated immediately. It was so good and the quality so tangible that you wouldn’t mind spending a little coin to appreciate it. Coffee is still more per gallon than gasoline. And Gas is too expensive. But the when you go to the artisanal spot, you understand why.
The Shoeless Contessa taught us to use quality ingredients. Mama Dean let us know butter, sugar, salt, and a whole lotta love should go into every dish. Guy “Fiery “made it crystal clear that we want to make food that evokes a response. And the Iron Chefs have taught us to be fearless in our combinations, conviction, and point of view. Now we have once more found inspiration to continue on our culinary path.
We went by the field (of our fellows), and gathered wisdom. Today we learned that the marketing machine makes brand. But we also saw that the artisanal work will get you noticed and appreciated. The artisanal work will make your stamp. We have come to the conclusion that we want to be the best of both worlds. We are building it, some have come. We want to keep them coming back.
Life is short…eat something memorable.