Some time ago I wrote about a great meal mm and I had at The Mixing Pot – a classic Italian “old school” restaurant in Glebe with the fantastic service and food, and how I had received a well timed email telling me to come again soon – which made the experience even better.
Well, they sent another very well timed e-mail to coincide exactly ten days before my birthday. Probably the time someone may ask what you want to do for dinner that night. And with the email again the offer of a complimentary bottle plonk; this time Seppelt Salinger – not too shabby for a freebie.
So, tonight I am looking forward to some great pasta and some of that limoncello with mm. The perfect birthday.
A few weeks ago mm and I had dinner at The Mixing Pot – an Italian bistro in Glebe. You know the type of place – waiters who treat you very well, a classic Italian menu, amazing quality, lots of lovely attention to detail. Not the sort of place that gets a lot of attention or press in “what’s hot” lists, but a place where there is a lot of loyalty and love.
We got there at about 9pm, and it was packed. No problem! We have a table! Some Australian-Italian chatter with the waiter. Food arrived quickly with a flourish. Laughter and apologies about a mislaid salad. Shared tirumasu that made me cry. And a shot of house limoncello at the end to top the meal off. I don’t know how else to describe it – I was charmed! And with the bill arrived a little survey about the service and food etc. Being the surveyaddict I am I dutifully filled it in. I’ve since found out this place is a bit of a gem; been on the scene for a long time. Has a very good reputation etc. And on the weekend I received in my inbox a sweet email from the Mixing Pot with the subject “welcome”. They said how appreciative they were for the feedback, and I am now considered a “preferred guest”. And to say thank you when I book my next table there I will receive a complimentary bottle of wine (and not a crap bottle, a relatively good one). I see this is a service that is driven by an outside supplier (impact data), but it was personal and sweet and although delivered via email, felt kind of hand-done and low-tech…it only worked because my experience at the restaurant itself was so great. If I had had a shit time, and the food was nasty then the email would have just served to remind me of how rubbish the whole evening was. But irrationally I imagine the nice man who served us doing up that email himself.
The more I look into the Impact Data site I see it’s not just sweet service, but simply hard-nosed business…make a connection with me, offer me something to come again, and probably in the future offer something more to refer a friend. But it really hammers home that it only works for places like the Melting Pot because they provide something that I want to tell people about – I’ve only been there once, but I love the place. We only had a quick dinner, but I’m looking forwardto eating there again. We only ordered one course and shared a desert, but the sweet, professional waiters treated us like we were just as important as the people who ordered three. I’ve told so many people about it since we’ve been.
A few months ago I posted my fear of word of mouth killing something that was dear to me, and its lack of “scalability”. Is Mixing Pot scalable? Yeah, absolutely! I reckon those sharp Italian guys have that all wrapped up.
(oh, and I recommend the Linguine con Gamberi, Cape-Sante E Rucola…mm had the Spaghetti alla Chioggiotta – Spaghetti with fresh Cuttle fish & Calamari in squid ink sauce – but the squid ink gave him an eerie resemblence to Danny Devito as The Penguin…)