Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Jamie's Italian - Spatial and Service Design Failure

We wanted to go for dinner yesterday. The new place in town is Jamie's Italian. Check the website, they don't take reservations. Well, okay might be part of the concept.

When we get there we're told that we'll need to wait at least 45 minutes but can do so at the bar. In order to get to the bar one has to walk half way through the restaurant, the bar area is rather small, does not have enough seating but instead a rather bland drinks menu.

If the concept is "no reservations", why not make the bar a bit more exciting and postion it next to the entrance so people won't be rushed past your back when you're eating (once you got a seat)? As you should never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by carelessness (or stupidity), this strikes me as an odd design failure.

The same sort of lack of though is also mirrored in the service. Yeah, having no reservations is cool and relaxed (and if people wait at the bar you might make some extra money). But if you're the new place in town, for the first couple of week this might lead to quite significant waiting times (at a bland bar) and people might just not be willing to put up with it and leave disappointed - a potential customer lost. So why not take reservations at least for the first couple of weeks? Or at least do some interesting drinks specials at the bar to sweeten the wait? This way people will be happy, even with special prices you'll still make some money and everyone wins.

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