Building Your Customer List

McCormick & Schmick’s is a nice restaurant, really an upscale fish house, that started in the Northwest and now has tentacles reaching across the U.S., now with probably two-thirds of it’s restaurants east of the Mississippi River. One of the oldest McCormick_and_Schmick_logorestaurants in the chain has occupied it’s current location since 1892, but this business understands how to treat it’s customers and has made the leap into their third century of business.

I placed a dinner reservation there just this morning. The hostess took the usual information and then asked if I wanted an email confirmation sent to me. Now, email confirmations are not unheard of, but this one happening in my own neighborhood restaurant triggered my senses: McCormick’s has shifted their thinking to include drawing their customers into an online relationship.

Customer relations are fickle and a business needs to keep up with the trends and customer preferences. McCormick’s also recognizes that cooking and serving food is not their real business, their real business is being a place of entertainment for their customers, the food is one part of the entertainment customers expect when they come to a restaurant.

How does this idea inform your business? And what is your real business, the parallel to McCormick’s actually being in the entertainment business?

Addendum: Of course, I said “yes,” and I’ll give a report back on what McCormick’s actually does, now that they have my email address. 

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