There’s a wonderful Italian restaurant in our office building. Their thin crust pizzas are as authentic as any you will get in a fine pizzeria in Italy, the soups and pastas are among the best in Dubai and the service is exceptional.
Often we order in a meal, and normally it’s soup and pizza. In the restaurant they serve excellent bread with the soup. But on deliveries they seem to forget the bread. So when we ordered in lunch yesterday I made a point of asking for the bread. No problem, I was told, it’ll be an extra 10 dirham. An extra 10 dirham? You can get two loaves of freshly baked bread from Spinneys for less than 10 dirham!
Do I pay for the bread in the restaurant, I asked? I do not. So why should I pay if the meal is delivered to an office in the same building as the restaurant? The person manning the phone did not have an answer, the manager was not in the restaurant, and so the chef came to phone. His explanation was, to say the least, ludicrous. Packaging material (for food) costs a lot of money, so the restaurant tries to recover the money by not sending bread with the soup, or by charging for it.
But why be sneaky about it? Why not just say it upfront on the delivery menu? An otherwise first-rate service establishment has found a way of irritating customers. How should they handle it?
It’s simple, have a flat percentage charge for deliveries, say 5% or a fixed amount. Many restaurants do it and customers don’t mind paying a bit more for the convenience of eating at home or in the office. That should tale care of the delivery cost, including the cost of the packaging material. Just be upfront, that’s the important thing.
There’s another restaurant in our building, a new one, started by two Greek brothers. The food is first-rate and they always thrown in a bit extra on the deliveries. Think I will start ordering more frequently from them.