So I will publicly admit, I LOVE my chocolate chip pancakes. And frankly, the more chocolate in the pancakes (with a ton of chocolate chips on top), the better!
So I ventured off to IHOP last Sunday for some of those delicious pancakes. It was Sunday morning, so I knew that it would be crowded. I was expecting the usual Sunday morning 20-minute wait.
I put my name in and waited. There were probably twenty people or so waiting. So I decided to sneak off to the restroom before I was seated. As I was coming back from the restroom, I could not help noticing that there were seven tables opened, cleaned off, and ready to serve. So, I went back to the waiting area and waited. And waited. And waited. AND WAITED.
Curiosity got the best of me. I went up (nicely) to the three hostesses who were standing around the podium talking and said, “I just have to ask – you have all of these people waiting and you have seven open tables. Can we be seated?”
She was very polite and said, “We are waiting for the kitchen to catch up.” I thanked her and sat back down.
What I couldn’t grasp was the fact that all of the people standing around me were asking the same questions (perception). What else could IHOP have done to make my waiting experience better? Hey, how about offering me something to drink (for which I would end up paying for when I was seated)? Or, I don’t know, pacing the seating a bit better?
Look, I am sure not complaining about the kitchen here. There is only so much room to cook so much food. My thought is that maybe IHOP (and others who make you wait) could rethink the whole waiting process.
I will say, our waitress was very good (and it was her first week), and the food, well, those darn pancakes are always great.
Remember – perception is reality, no matter where you go for Sunday breakfast!