Imagine yourself in a city you are touring, checking out the local scene. You are hungry, looking for a restaurant. You look around and see people all around, a busy bustling place. On both sides of the road, the only shops you see are restaurants. (You don’t even notice the other shops, because you are hungry!) Fast-food, Premiums, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Spanish, local cuisine and street-side vendors. They are all there. What do you do?
So you go to the Indian restaurant, because you like Indian food. The restaurant is pretty decent. It did look quite good on the outside. Nice big hoarding, big cashier desk, crowded place and large menu. You take a seat, satisfied with your decision. You order your food.
The food arrives, it still looks good. Lots of butter, nice looking food. Ok, this is worth the price. I am going to enjoy this. But then you take the first bite and you realize, this is fake. This isn’t ‘good’ food. Its just made tasty by some or the other way. It doesn’t even look fresh. It’s all meant to just ‘look’ good.
Now you see the restaurant more clearly. The cashier desk is in a mess on the back-side. The place is dirty, just cleaned near the entrance. You risk a peak at the kitchen door. No. I can’t be eating at this place.
Too late, even if you don’t eat here now. (Though you will, you are hungry.) You have to pay for the food. You voted with your money for this place. But you didn’t want to!
Everyday, everywhere such small seemingly good restaurants are making good business by getting ignorant or innocent customers in the door by their tactics. But are they keeping customers? No.
Through your one week stay at the place, you try different restaurants. You never feel like going to the same place again. On the last day, you come across a new place. Everything is very simple here. No big desks. No big hoardings. No shiny chairs. Its all in place, fitting together. The servers are not the prettiest but they understand what you would like to eat.
You enjoy your food. And you come again for dinner. This is that place you were looking for. You found the ‘good’ people.
You go and thank the restaurant owner. He says, “Welcome. But I don’t see any benefit in running my business truthfully and with simplicity. That guy on the other side of the road; he is selling day-old food. But he is doing as much business as me. Why should I be good?”
To which you, the wise person replies, “Look, I had gone there on my first day. I am never going there again. That guy is getting customers because people simply don’t know any better. But the day these people find you, they won’t leave you. And that’s a true business; building a relationship with the customer and keeping them happy. You are slowing building up loyalty in customers, that guy is simply getting some lost tourists. He is simply not growing.” You go back home and recommend them to everyone.
Don’t think that being good, means people will find you instantly. It means that when they do find you, they will stay. Meanwhile, the other cunning people will come and go, never to stay long enough.
Originally published at paramaggarwal.com.