I am not that much of a “foodie.” I enjoy a good meal out as much as the next person. But will I wait in a line longer than 15-20 minutes for a seat at a restaurant? Not willingly. I would rather go find something a little more off the beaten path. Do I eat fast food? Not too often. I would rather create something at home than get food over a counter most of the time. All that being said, there is ONE meal that I willingly drive 60 minutes for – the Porcini Crusted Sea Bass at Vernon’s Cafe in Niles, OH.
I literally dream about this meal – it is just THAT good. Our son played lacrosse this week at a school that was about 20 minutes from Niles. I was so excited about attending this particular game, as it was going to end with us dining at Vernon’s and me having my sea bass.
On the drive home, remember it is over an hour away, my “NNEP brain” kicked in and I got to thinking, “What would it take to make an embroidery customer drive an hour to do business with any particular embroiderer/apparel decoration professional?”
- Customer service?
- Unique mix of products?
- The decoration processes offered?
- The relationship with the people in the business?
- The atmosphere of the business?
We make the drive to Vernon’s because:
- We went the first time with a nephew of the owner, who had himself worked in the restaurant as a young man – so we had an inside track to the restaurant’s back story.
- We met Vernon in person that evening, since our host walked back into the kitchen, shouting “hellos” to many family members along the way, and proceeded to bring Vernon out of the kitchen to our table for a few minutes.
- We were then introduced to his aunt, Vernon’s wife.
- The food truly was and is amazing.
- The wine list is adventure all on it is own. They have bottles there now listed at $4500. According to their sommelier Dennis, “it is just now beginning to hit is time.” He is always available and truly enjoys getting to know his customers and making recommendations based on the meal selections.
All of these things make dining at this restaurant an “experience” so much more than a meal. It is fun, welcoming, relaxing and enjoyable on every sensory level.
Oh, and here’s the kicker – parked out in front of the restaurant we saw their new “Meatballs Gone Wild” catering truck – with full signage. It looked like a party on wheels! I want to schedule an event just to have that truck arrive at our place – it looked that cool!
What can you do to make shopping at your place of business a memorable and desirable experience?
NNEP Members – log in on the Members Only Blog for the follow up article, Make it Worth The Trip. We share ideas about how to make your business THE place to order decorated apparel in your market.
If you are ever in northeast Ohio, visit Vernon’s Cafe in Niles – it will be well worth it!
PS – The boys won their LAX game – they’ve had a great season! And yes, we ordered a meal to go for Tyler for when he made it home on the bus.