Some time ago I was walking on Yonge Street downtown Toronto and wanted a quick meal. I stopped at Villa Madina, a fast food chain which offers “Mediterranean cuisine with an emphasis on quality and convenience”

I purchased a meal combo advertised as “Shawarma and a 20oz drink”

The 20oz cup was filled well below capacity; approximately two inches below the rim, I’m guessing at 80% capacity.

Was it under-filled due to an inattentive server? Or was it because asked if I wanted ice I said “just a bit please”? I guess I’ll never know. I rarely drink soft drinks and I’m not a fan of the sugar water so my disappointment wasn’t because I wouldn’t have enough to drink, I had plenty. The problem is that restaurant failed to deliver what it advertised. If we purchase a drink advertised as a 20 oz. drink, we expect a 20oz drink. Just as if I order a car advertised with five air-bags, I expect the delivered car to have five airbags and no fewer.

Shortchanging customers obviously negatively impacts customers’ experiences. We need to ensure we give what we promise and advertise or, better yet when possible, give more than we offer. We also need to ensure our staff is aware of this policy.

How about this for an idea to wow customers: Advertise the combo with a 16 oz drink but give each customer the option to upgrade to a 20oz … for free.  The extra 4oz of soda given away would hardly make a dent in expenses but would positively mark your customers’ experience. Maybe even give customers something to talk about, spreading positive word-of-mouth.

PS: The shawarma was delicious though 🙂

(Update May 2019: The Villa Madina location referenced in this report is no longer)


Business Owners:

It’s imperative that what is delivered to the customer equals or exceeds what is advertised. Expectations must be met or we risk losing customers.

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