My wife is a coeliac which means she can’t eat foods containing flour because of the gluten in it.
That means she rarely gets to eat pasta when we dine out because so few restaurants offer a gluten free pasta option
So we were pretty excited outside a restaurant when we saw the menu board proudly proclaim “Gluten free pasta available”.
We were inside and seated at a table faster that you could say, “That’s what a pining for pasta coeliac’s dreams are made of!”
Sipping our drinks (which took sometime to come but I’ll talk about that folly another day) we waited quite a while for the menus to arrive.
Finally they did and, trembling with long denied pasta anticipation, my wife took in the menu voraciously.
“I’ll have the gluten free bacon and mushroom pasta” she told the wait person with enthusiasm and happily took another sip of her drink… and another…and another… and…
After an interminable wait (other diners had come, ordered, been served, eaten and departed) the wait person appeared to announce, “I’m sorry, we don’t have any gluten free pasta. You’ll nave to choose something else”.
That was it. Ker plunk! All over red Rover, no gluten free pasta, tough! No offer of something special, no real apology, no nothing… choose something else or else!
What could they, what should they, have done to make the disappointment, the hurt, a little less painful?
A special dish the chef could whip up… rice in lieu of the pasta, maybe a filet of fish grilled without flour? That divine chocolate extravagant dessert (that my wife would kill for). And free, with lots of really sincere, heartfelt apologies!
But nothing (and charging me for my meal) doesn’t cut it. We won’t be back but obviously they don’t care.
The lesson here for all of us is, quite simply, how do you and your team make good when you get it wrong. Have you sat down and discussed it with them, thought about ways to do it and empowered everyone to do so?
That way you can turn tragedy into triumph!