I have lunch each month with a group of girlfriends. We are all cancer survivors. We meet to share our good health and give each other support for our health challenges. It is a happy get-together. We share stories about what has shown up in the previous weeks since our last lunch, travel, family, and some of what we may have discovered that can help one another.
We usually pick a different restaurant each time, which is easy to do here in Sonoma County. We are usually a group of 7–10 boisterous women. If possible, we prefer to meet where we can have a bit of privacy and where we can hear each other with ease.
Our May lunch was held at Charlie’s Restaurant located at the 19th hole of the Windsor Golf Club. After I parked my car, I headed for the door. I was enchanted by the beautiful grounds. The abundance of flowers in bright colors greeted my eyes. The grass on the golf course shimmered in its glorious and glossy green. The vibrant plants spurred my happy anticipation about what was in store on the menu for the day.
One thing that happens when we get together, the food is never as important as our check-in process. We share our good news and sometimes our challenges. Servers may have to visit our table several times before we are ready to order our meals.
It was too windy to sit outside today. We were seated inside and the noise level was high. A group of men at another table had loud voices that nearly drowned us out. Once they left, we could hear each other more easily.
The food came as we continued our check-in. I enjoyed the grilled ahi niçoise salad as we swapped stories. We usually split the bill evenly and are lucky to have a retired bookkeeper in the group who manages the money. While were were settling up the bill, our server came to the table with a treat on the house, a plate of fresh chocolate chip cookies. I think we all took one.
The restaurant is smart to give away a treat. It made us all smile and as the last thing we tasted before leaving, it made an indelible impression. So much so, we decided to come back for our next lunch.
Giving it away to encourage loyalty and repeat business
Giving away something of value is a smart move whether you are a restaurant, small business, large business, service provider, author, or the seller of products. You might be scratching your head wondering what you can give away without it costing you too much. Here is my dirty dozen of give-aways that :
1. How to tips
2. A list of your top 5 resources for your clients
3. Research on a topic of interest
4. Wearables with your logo
5. A subscription to your month newsletter
6. Templates that you have created
7. Thank you notes
8. Birthday cards
9. A free gift on their birthday
10. A small denomination gift card to Amazon
12. Magnets with your contact information