Good Service is Like a Great Steak

Steak and Eggs

I swear I’m not obsessed with food, but I am obsessed with service. In an older post about room service, specifically, I wrote about how Warm Bread is Not Toast. Well, here I am again with a room service post.

In my most recent stay at my favorite hotel in Las Vegas, I needed to order some lunch around 11am Vegas time. I wanted steak and asparagus (or some other suitable green). So, I called room service with Joe Sorge standing by, waiting to do our show.

Me:I was hoping to order steak for lunch, but I don’t see that you serve it until 5pm.
Room Service:Steak and eggs?
Me:No, you know, an entree steak.
Room Service:Right. We don’t serve that til 5pm.
Me:Oh. I was really hoping to order it for lunch.
Room Service:Right, I suppose we COULD do it, but it would take over an hour, because we’re not set up to prepare that yet. We don’t sell that until 5pm.
Me:But you sell steak and eggs?
Room Service:Yes.
Me:Okay. I’ll have that, but… with a bunch of edits. (Note: the picture above isn’t my steak and eggs. Mine came with fruit.)

Did you ever seen this scene with Jack Nicholson? Watch it. It’s short:

Can’t see the video? CLICK HERE

Sound familiar?

Good Service is Great Steak

This place is my favorite hotel in Las Vegas. I love it here. I love every element of the experience. I’ve never ordered something off-timing on the menu before, and to be honest, I presumed that it would just be like everything else I’d experienced: custom, to my tastes, and perfect.

If the kitchen serves “steak and eggs,” they have steak. Yes, I imagine it’s a different cut of steak. But, the room service person could have said this:

We don’t serve our entree steaks until 5pm, but I could take our breakfast steak, which is a different kind of cut, and pair that with something suitable. What were you thinking of for a side?

It would have given me the same satisfaction. It wouldn’t have ruined the process too badly. I probably would have blogged about how clever companies are those that customize service and make it seem like it was the company’s pleasure to serve.

And instead, I’m thinking about how you can improve your service experiences in your own business. So who knows? Maybe it’s a win. And truthfully, the steak and eggs was perfectly fine for a meal. But hopefully, you see where I’m going with all this.

What do you think? Should service be about helping me feel served?

Brief update: oddly, the very next day, I asked again for a somewhat custom order. The server was VERY friendly and kind and accommodating and I got exactly what I wanted. It was so weird. So day and night different. So who knows? Bad day the day before? A confusion? You’re still my favorite hotel. runs on the Genesis Framework

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  • Jenika

    Yes, a part of  good customer service should be “to make you feel served.” After being in the customer service business for a very long time I have learned that even if I can’t solve the problem I should show the customer that I am trying to solve it. I also think empowering employees to make decisions on the fly plays a huge role in that. I would be willing to bet the person you spoke with during the day was possibly newer than the person who you spoke with later. Creative thinking and empowered decision making are huge in customer service!

  • Anonymous

    There is a concept that I am a big believer in. Exact Giving. It is so important to try to give people what they ask for and in a timely way. People are pretty good at articulating what they want. It is simple, just try to do what they ask. It is amazing how positive their reaction is if you do.

    This has to do with trust and a certain humility. For that person the request may be very important. Even having to explain things may be too much of a bother for them. They may have a dozen reasons why they want things in a specific way. Don’t force them to explain.

    The flip side is restaurants and businesses that waste energy on things that people don’t want or need. Making the business look impressive but actually no fulfilling the requests of customers.

  • Peter Scazzer

    Some room service doesn’t tell all the details maybe because of fatigue.  As long as the room service is accommodating and  easy to communicate with then there should be no problem even they don’t tell all the details you want.

  • Matthew

    I think it comes down to the way the hotel is branded. You mentioned that this was your favorite hotel and they did everything perfectly. So clearly, customer service is something that they consider a core belief. When that is the case, the hotel should have bent over backwards to make your request in almost any way they could have. Wal-Mart has no mention of customer service in their core beliefs and they do pretty well. Why? Because Walmart brands itself as a low cost leader. Which people will trade for lesser service. If you had stayed in a Super 8, you may understand if they couldn’t handle your request.

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