My wife and I recently enjoyed a fabulous meal at a funky little restaurant in the town of Field, nestled in the Canadian Rockies just a skip and a long hop down the road from Lake Louise. In addition to the amazing food, The Truffle Pigs Bistro (and what a great name that is) does a few simple things to connect with its customers and add a little charm.
On their menu they include a funny, personalized and charming introduction to the owners, restaurant and staff (who they reference as the “quirky small-town cast”). I don’t care how serious your business is or what business you are in – everyone should take a page from their menu. Your customers, not to mention prospective employees, want to meet the real people lurking behind the professional titles and roles. Don’t give people the blahs with all the “blah blah blah” talk on your website, annual reports, organization charts or wherever you mention your employees…instead introduce everyone, from the big kahuna on down, using real, conversational language. Include fun, personalized photos. Or include photos of everyone’s dogs or kids. Share their personal interests, passions or nicknames. Explain why they are great to work with or why they love working with your organization. Just do something to put a human face on your business to help people connect with you.
The Truffle Pigs also has a giant blackboard above the bar with a list of Words To Live By, such as the one I featured in today’s Deep Thought of the Week. This is a simple idea any business can do, and for bonus points use quotes and sayings that are relevant to your particular business, profession or setting.
They also have a list of Things Field People Don’t Understand (such as traffic jams or long summers) which helps give visitors a sense of the community while connecting to the local community by listing things only the locals can relate to and laugh about. So what could you do in your business to connect to the local community in a fun way? Maybe it’s a “Top-10 reasons we love working in ______” list, a local heroes wall of fame, or a trivia list related to your community – just do something that gives your customers and employees a great sense of place in your business.
And one final very funny gem: There is a gong at the side of the bar at the Truffle Pigs Bistro and a list of ten “Gong Rules” above it on a blackboard. The Gong Rules include things such as:
– Being ‘allergic’ to salt
– Asking for the wi-fi password before saying ‘hello’
– Asking for American cheese
– Taking life too seriously
If anyone violates any of the 10 gong rules they bang the gong as a fun way to razz the offending individual. This is a great idea that any workplace can adopt: Set up a gong, or some other creative means of flagging your own unique list of gong rules. The gong rules might include texting while trying to speak to someone, gossiping, or using a “buzzword” that you are trying to avoid. You could also have one in your meeting room to use anytime someone violates one of your meeting commandments.
Michael Kerr is an international business speaker and the author of The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses Are Laughing All the Way to the Bank!
“Just wanted to say “WOW!” Our group has had many speakers over the years, but none the likes of Mike Kerr.”
Richard Dansereau, President, NAPA Autopro BDG
“Michael Kerr is one of the best speakers I have seen. I highly recommend him!”
Veronica D. Bouvier, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Aspen Properties Ltd.
“Mike held the full attention of our senior management team for a full FOUR hour
presentation – no small accomplishment!”
Martine Rothblatt, CEO, United Therapeutics