I try and instill in all the Mink staffers a sense of the Four Seasons standard of service excellence. The ubiquitous hotel chain does arguably the best job in the service industry of paying attention to details.
Details are those little intrinsic differences that subliminally affect your perception of something. It may not be immediately apparent, but it supports the overall message of the brand. It strengthens brand intention, and serves to set you apart from others in a very crowded marketplace.
The world is over retailed, and doesn’t need any more of anything. If you’re going to do something, you might as well be different, and do different so well that you set the standard by which all others have to compete.
This strategy can sometimes get lost in translation, and when it’s lost on a tenured employee we call Spicoli, it can have very humorous consequences. The washrooms in the Café have really nice chrome fixtures. The toilet paper dispensers in particular are hotel caliber, dual roll dispensers with hoods that cry out for a chambermaid’s touch of origami to the loose end.
We insist that each new roll of toilet paper be loaded into the dispenser so the paper unrolls over the top, rather than behind. It looks better, and it’s more convenient. The most important detail though, is starting the roll, so the guest doesn’t have to pick at the point where it’s glued to get it going.
Most commercial toilet paper is two ply. Starting the roll means paying attention to ensure the two plys line up. Not paying attention to how one starts the roll could mean the plys have separated, and at the perforation point of the individual squares, they don’t line up.
The simple fix is taking the first errant ply, and folding it over the roll to catch up to its proper position, and tearing it equal to its natural second ply. We’ve actually referenced this in the staff communication book and teach it as basic bathroom maintenance to all new hires. Spicoli had other ideas. His acute sense of logic dictated that if the roll is wound down far enough, the two plys will eventually meet.
The mystery of why there was always so much unused toilet paper in the garbage can was finally answered when Spicoli confessed to Ben that he thought our service standard for toilet paper was untenable.
Hearing this from Ben the other day, we were killing ourselves laughing, but not as hard as when we wrote the memo that effective immediately, we’re switching to a three ply toilet paper, and everyone changing rolls had to ensure that all the plys, again, lined up at the start.
So the next time you’re in the washroom, if all you see is toilet paper almost at the end of the roll, either we’ve been busy, or Spicoli’s been on bathroom maintenance.
Mink Chocolates Inc.,
Mink A Chocolate Cafe Ltd.
Call the store: 604.633.2451
Call my mobile: 604.376.3464
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In Person: 863 Hastings Street West, Vancouver, BC V6C 3N9
Nine out of every ten persons say they love chocolate. The tenth lies.
– Anthelme Brillat-Savarin