On a short vacation to Lake Tahoe last week, the weather wasn’t ideal with both snow and rain, but on our last day, Saturday, we made a quick stop at Truckee and brightened our holiday measurably.
Truckee was founded in 1844 and it still has the appearance of the Old West, but it’s been upgraded and gentrified for modern times. The main street is made up art galleries, restaurants and an equal mix of stores, both quaint and posh.
The gem of the main street is the “Squeeze In Restaurant” (pictured above) With a menu featuring about ten different four-egg omelets. On the menu, it says, “Best Omelets on the Planet” and “Outrageous Guarantee: You’ll love our food or it’s FREE.” See for yourself here: Squeeze In Menu
Sounds like hype, right? But as they say, it’s not boasting if it’s true. I asked for a soft omelet with ham, mushrooms, and onion. And it was actually soft, unlike most omelets at most restaurants, (even if you ask).
From a marketing perspective, they did everything right. In fact, you could use the Squeeze In as not only the model for a great restaurant but the model for any business.
Here’s what makes them so special.
The “Look” of the Squeeze In
Every wall in the place was covered with a wide variety of framed photos and paintings, mostly from customers. And around and behind all these pictures were comments and signatures of Squeeze In patrons.
This said to me, “This place is yours, you are part of our family, you are welcome here, we appreciate you enough that we want you to be an integral part of the restaurant.”
If that’s not a powerful marketing message, I don’t know what is.
The Waitresses and Waiters
They were the friendliest, most welcoming, and engaging restaurant staff I’ve ever experienced. It felt like I was an important visitor to their home. When we came in, there were no seats yet available, so the waitress who greeted us said, “Would you like a drink before we seat you?” Sure! And about a minute later my wife had a cup of coffee and I had a glass of orange juice.
Did I mention enthusiasm? Yes, but not a fake put-on kind of enthusiasm. They had bright eyes and friendly smiles.
The food was amazing. I’ve mentioned the omelets, but the home-fried potatoes were just as good. Brown, tender, tasty and abundant; each bite conveyed the message, “We love cooking and you’ll love eating what we cook.”
There were so many potatoes that we couldn’t finish them, so we brought some home and ate them the next day with eggs. Yum!
A Model for All Restaurants
Every culinary school in the world should study the Squeeze In and learn what a great restaurant is all about.
Every restaurant is graded by the quality of the atmosphere, food and service. The Squeeze In earned an A+ in all categories.
What does this mean to you?
You probably don’t own a restaurant, but whatever business you own, these three success components should be what you pay attention to most the time.
• Is the look and feel of your business or website welcoming, friendly and comfortable?
• Is your service personal, responsive, and easy to interact with, making your customers and clients feel welcome?
• Are your products and programs the very best available, and do they deliver what was promised and give results beyond what was expected?
This takes a fair amount of thought, dedication, and hard work to deliver these three components. Is it worth it? Well, the Squeeze In was packed with happy customers. We also noted that the three other restaurants on the street had only three or four customers.
A business like this has more customers or clients, makes more money and has a better time running the business and serving customers.
Isn’t it time to get on the Squeeze In train?
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