One of my objectives with reviewing products is to mix regular reviews for conventional technology products with those of non-tech product and service experiences. And, today, I’d like to share the story of my experience with Dametra Cafe.
A few weeks ago, a couple of friends and I visited a small middle eastern restaurant called Dametra Cafe in a quaint little town called Carmel-by-the-sea. It had really good reviews and we waited 30 mins to get in. The appetizers and main course were really good. The service, however, was excellent – the waitress was friendly and attentive and, midway through our meal, the owner came and checked in to see if we were doing okay. Always a nice touch.
As we were nearing the end of the meal – the owner came out again, this time with a stringed instrument. He said the chef would be joining him for a Spanish song that translated to “To live and to love.” For 4 of us friends who were seeing each other after a very long time, this was almost the perfect song for that moment. Score again. Thus, they began. It had a catchy tune and, within moments, we were all clapping and singing along. (the clip below is of the first part of the song – the our voices got louder once we learnt the simple chorus)
And, after all of this, we were also treated to desserts on-the-house to round it all up.
There were 2 important product insights I took away –
1. Simple freebies go a long way. The free desserts probably didn’t cost them much. They may even have them built in to the price. It didn’t matter. It was a simple and nice touch. Nickle-and-diming customers for every little thing never results in a pleasant experience.
2. Let the product have personality. I touched on this idea in my product review of “The Skimm” – personality plays a big role in the product resonating with customers. There were two interesting notes about this musical experience. First, a friend who I shared this experience remembered having lunch at the exact place and seeing the owner burst into song. It didn’t resonate as much with him as it did with me. That’s part and parcel of bringing personality to your product. You win some and you lose some.
Second, all it took for this lunch to be special was that personal touch. As you can tell from the video, the owner and the chef weren’t great singers. But, they clearly enjoyed it and brought themselves to their little performance. So, we couldn’t help but join. That bit of personality transformed a a meal to an experience, one that was undoubtedly among the best meal experiences I’ve had in a very long time…
A quick note on doing these product reviews – I started writing this as I wanted to understand how to build great products and services. A first step to doing that is learning to “see” and learning to be aware of greatness. And, just thinking about these product review posts has led me to find myself noticing products more and feeling a lot more aware as I use products. It is amazing what our minds notice once we simply decide to do so…