Courtyard Restaurant In Ottawa – Doing It Right

Warning – I’m about to talk about my dinner. Bear with me – there’s a point…

Ever had one of those experiences when you just thought that someone really nailed “it,” whatever “it” is? I had one of those yesterday.

I flew to Ottawa yesterday ahead of a presentation I’m giving at a Canadian Medical Association event this morning. After several hours of hermit-like work in my hotel room, I got to thinking about dinner. Rather than going to the Milestones I can see from my room, I threw out a tweet to see if people had any suggestions.

I got about a dozen or so responses with recommendations of nearby places. Among them were several from foodiePrints – an Ottawa-based food blog. One in particular caught my eye – the chef at a local restaurant – the Courtyard Restaurant – had responded to the question:

Impressed by the response (although a little worried about a “chronic” duck (turns out it’s a good thing), I decided to head over to the restaurant.

This was a win for the restaurant already – for the outlay of a couple of seconds of typing, they’d brought in a new customer. But it continued:

Simple but effective. I laughed when I saw that tweet (to the consternation of several couples nearby, who clearly thought I was a little crazy) and again when, a few minutes later, the most over-the-top dessert I’ve ever had emerged from the kitchen… and was delicious.

What’s my point here?

Communications is changing

Communications is changing. The way you can reach your customers and your potential customers is changing. Five years ago I would have gone to a chain restaurant; instead a local establishment was able to respond to my tweeted question and, with the investment of a few seconds (and a delicious dessert), won my business and my loyalty.

An ad or a newspaper story might work with some people, but there are an increasing number of people using these online tools to find recommendations through word-of-mouth. Not the traditional word-of-mouth, but a new, scaleable word-of-mouth that can reach people instantly and effectively.

Have you thought about how you can turn this to your advantage?

(Oh, and the duck at the Courtyard Restaurant was delicious; “chronic,” if you will. Thank you to Michael Hay and his staff for a great experience)

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.