Recently, I dined at PrimeHouse in Chicago for the second time. I went back because I remembered that several years ago the experience was far above average for a high-end steakhouse and we even got to visit their legendary Himalayan Salt Room. Most steakhouses get the “steak on a plate and the sides” right. So what differentiates them? It’s the customer experience and that can be defined in so many different ways.
Our Waiter Took Control of the Experience
PrimeHouse is known for their wine list and I had found a very nice half-bottle to share with Shelby as we celebrated our successful launch of the live presentation portion of our “She Said, He Said” project. As I pointed out my selection to the waiter, he said, “While that’s a nice bottle, I’d go with this other one.” Here’s the kicker: He was recommending a bottle that was about half the cost of the one I had selected. I said, “Sure, we’ll give it a try.” He promised that if we didn’t love it, he’d take it back and bring the other. We loved it.
Next, as I ordered crab cakes, a steak and a side of asparagus for us to split, he stopped me again. He explained that while the crab cakes are fantastic, they had a special appetizer this particular evening. I asked what it was and he responded simply by asking if he’d steered us wrong on the wine. I said, “Okay, bring it on.” The picture above is the bacon delight we had as an appetizer. It’s like he follows me on Twitter or something because I tweet almost every morning about cooking bacon. He also explained that I had ordered the steak and side he’d have selected.
So now it’s time for dessert. He just looks at me and asked if I trusted him. Well, duh. By this time, I’m certainly not questioning one of the best waiters I’ve ever had. He arrived at our table with little beignets and tiny squeeze bottles we could use to inject caramel and other flavors into them. Yes, delicious.
It Was Perfect and He Was Rewarded
This entire dining experience came as close to perfect as any dining experience in my life. Our waiter was rewarded with a very handsome tip. The reality is that he more then financed the generous tip with his early redirection of my wine selection. PrimeHouse is doing something right. If you’re ever in Chicago, I’d suggest that you go, observe and learn. They have me rethinking how to take control of my customer’s experience with ColorMetrix and our products and services.