Compete ‘n Eat
This week, I’ve been writing about my last ever visit to a Bob Evans restaurant.
Do I have anything against Bob Evans the man (1918-2007), restaurateur and marketer of pork sausage products, and the pride of Sugar Ridge, in northwestern Ohio?
Of course not. And if the situation presented itself, I might just dine at one of his restaurants, just not the one by my house.*
(*full disclosure: the restaurant in question is closed now. I think a dentist is using that building now. That’ll teach ya!)
Why not? That one time when we arrived for dinner at 8:45, we were greeted by the assembled staff seething with indignation.
We walked in 15 minutes before closing time and walked out 14 minutes before closing time.
So was theirs a righteous indignation?
My family thought it was. I disagreed.
Look, I’ve never worked in a restaurant but I get it. I worked at a movie theater and we couldn’t wait to clean the popcorn machine, as early as the boss would allow, so we could finish up and go home.
Cleaning that popcorn maker, especially after the ways we abused it, was a lengthy process and the sooner we started, the sooner we could go back to being teenagers.
And if somebody wanted popcorn after the cleaning process started? Nope. Sorry. How about some Raisinettes or Dots or Jordan Almonds instead?
You know this: It’s a competitive world out there. Ask anyone in the restaurant or any retail industry.
When we were turned away from the restaurant, we chose another restaurant. They’re the ones who got all of our money that night, and so Bob, you get NOTHING! YOU LOSE! GOOD DAY SIR!
That’s a tough way to run a business. That’s competition. If you don’t seduce me and keep me happy, if you burn through any brand equity you might have created, you lose and I walk to your rival.
And these days I might also go online to complain, not to seven to ten friends, but to hundreds or thousands of connections and their friends.
And another word about the staff, the people I would be keeping from going home.