Last Wednesday my husband and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary at Michael Mina. Neither of us had been to the restaurant before, and we are wary of establishments with a "celebrity chef", but we went based on friends' recommendations. During our meal, the staff was attentive and the food fantastic, but what really made our experience unique was how they handled their social media.
About halfway through the meal, our wedding song "You Make It Easy" by Air came over the speakers. It's not a common song, so I made a remark about the coincidence to our server. Little did I realize my comment was setting in motion one of the most endearing series of events I've ever experienced at a restaurant.
My husband got up to use the restroom and, while he was away, I tweeted, "Having anniversary dinner @MichaelMinaSF and they just randomly played our wedding song You Make It Easy by Air! Time to dance." Shortly after my tweet, we received a handwritten card from the manager wishing us a happy anniversary.
They brought us a slice of cake and a couple glasses of dessert wine, apologizing that, had they known it was our anniversary, they would have started us off with complimentary champagne. At the end of our meal, they brought us a copy of that night's tasting menu with "Happy Anniversary" written on it. By the time we got back to the car, I found they had followed me on Twitter and messaged me "@AlisonKawa thanks for spending your special day with us!!"
We were blown away by their responsiveness. These extra efforts required some care, but they didn't cost the restaurant a lot in time or money. In exchange, they got exposure to all my friends and gave me a brand experience I continue to talk about weeks afterward. If all businesses understood the power of these simple acts of personalization, they could create memorable customer experiences that do more to spread the word about their business than any marketing campaign.
Consider me a Michael Mina brand advocate!