(Don't) surprise me

Photo credit: Toro E. from Yelp

Photo credit: Toro E. from Yelp

Managing expectations is important – in personal relationships, at work, and especially with customers. People buy into a brand or product expecting a certain result. Do not trick them. See story below.

I went to a restaurant in SOMA last night called Lulu. My friend and I ordered what sounded like an unique appetizer: Dungeness crab and sweet corn beignets with bacon-cherry aioli.

We eagerly awaited soft, doughy, slightly sweet beignets, stuffed with fresh crab speckled with juicy corn and a fresh interpretation on a typical aioli dip. 

What arrived was far from this. The dish ended up being 3 crispy, heavily-battered crab cakes. The aioli didn’t taste like bacon or cherry. What was going on?

It was difficult not to be a little confused and disappointed – not because the crab cakes weren’t delicious….but because we didn’t order or want crab cakes. We wanted beignets. 

If you’re selling crab cakes, call the item a crab cake. Yes, there’s some leeway with positioning (coconut water or coconut juice?). But customers can only be led so far into believing your positioning if there’s truth to what you’re saying. So be honest and manage your customer’s expectations so they know what they’re buying, and you get credit for delivering a great product.

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