Some time ago my colleague Viktor invited the whole marketing team at Qmatic to dinner. He was very persuasive but yet cryptic. The only thing he said was: “Prepare for a very different experience and bring your phone, fully charged”. Being in the business of customer experience management I am sure you have already guessed that the team was a bit excited about the whole thing.
So, the big day came two days ago and we all met up outside a restaurant called Pinchos in the city of Gothenburg. I had never heard about them before – which maybe isn’t that strange since I am a family father living in the suburbs. I was happy just to be free for one evening.
I immediately felt good when we entered. Young, service minded staff, an interesting mix of furniture and other design elements created a nice atmosphere. We were taken to our table with a first question from the waiter: “Have you brought your phones?”
That was the starting point on a very different and exciting journey. Pinchos is Sweden’s first “app restaurant”. Everything is ordered through an app that can be downloaded on App Store or Google Play. The restaurant had specialized in serving tapas which is a really clever move. I will come to why in a bit.
We started by ordering drinks in the app. As soon as the drinks were ready, we got a push notification to collect them. Then we ordered our food, through a very intuitive interface with super engaging pictures of the food. Again, when the food was ready, we could fetch it ourselves from the kitchen team.
It was extremely easy to order more drinks and food and we didn’t have the hassle of trying to locate the staff. And this was the clever move – it was so good food and so easy to order more so at the end we were perhaps a bit too full. When we wanted our check we pressed a call button in the app and the waiter came with the check. For me that was almost the highlight of the evening – not having to try to locate the staff to get the check (plus that Viktor picked up the bill, thank you.).
- Will I go again? Yes, definitely and soon. And I will bring my family as well. The kids will love it.
- Did I miss the personal touch? No, the staff was there all the time for everything, but not in our face.
- Could the system be improved? Yes, we saw opportunities to enhance the experience with a real-time rating system and integration toiBeacons. Integrating the app to Facebook would also enhance the social experience
- Will it be for everyone? No, probably not. But it’s just a matter of time and crossing the chasm will not be a real challenge.
More than ever before, success depends on being able to offer a customer experience that is unique and more attractive than the competition. An experience that empowers me as a customer. The restaurant Pinchos succeed with just that and the social and word of mouth effect must be enormous.
And finally, did the staff get any tip? Yes, more than normal because we had a unique and great experience.