“In the hospitality industry – and this applies to almost any service company – you’re in a fantastic position to bond with your customers. If, heaven forbid, you disappoint one of them, give them something back which far exceeds the value of their problem,” advises Minter, who set up Adam Street in 2001 using the basement vaults of the Georgian terraced houses owned by his father – and now has 1,200 members on his books. “If a member of the club is upset because you’re fully booked for the second time in a row, then you can give them a voucher for a meal for eight,” he says. “It is an unexpected and magnanimous gesture that ultimately costs you far less than it would to have a single disgruntled member. “As Bertie Wooster [the fictional character in PG Wodehouse’s Jeeves novels] would have said, a little money spent to ‘re-gruntle’ a customer is money well spent.” Related articles: How to thrive during a recessionOnline entrepreneur: "We deliver within 30 minutes!"
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