As May long weekend tends to revolve around camping or cabin life, my husband and I held true to that spirit and decided to visit some local drive-in favourites; one for their burgers and another for their ice cream.
The first diner we went to has been in Winnipeg forever. Their food gets rave reviews and they were featured on the show ‘You Gotta Eat Here’. So yes, my expectations were pretty high. We were disappointed. Everything was so old. Not retro … old. The electric heaters looked rusted out. The carpets were dirty. The laminate table tops were peeling. On the other hand, my husband did enjoy his burger. My meal was disappointing, but I’ll take some responsibility for that. I should have stuck with what they’re famous for. The service was pleasant, but the whole place looked tired and dirty. I’m not sure we’ll go back. With so many diners and drive-ins left to try, one tasty burger did not provide a compelling reason to return, even for take-out.
The second restaurant was actually a bit out of Winnipeg. We hopped in the car and headed to the Half Moon Drive-in in Lockport. It’s another place that’s been around for years (since 1938 in fact) that a whole lot of people swear by. After our first experience, I made sure to keep my expectations in check. When we arrived, their ice cream window wasn’t yet open so we had to go inside. What a difference. Spotless retro. Lots of laminate tables, not one peeling. Vinyl seats and benches with no rips or tears. Instead of carpet, they had linoleum which was completely in keeping with the theme and so much easier to keep clean. The service was friendly and efficient. Half Moon was an ice cream visit but as I saw the trays of burgers, fries, onion rings and hot dogs walking by, I knew we were going to make the trip back before this summer is over.
Tony Allesandra said “Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you in the game. Service wins the game.” Customer service absolutely is important. Customers who feel valued and cared for will look past worn carpet or dated furniture, but for how long? At what point, does good service no longer cut it?
What are your thoughts?