• Ray Andrew posted an update in the group Group logo of Experiential Customer Environments Experiential Customer Environments 5 years, 10 months ago

    After watching Gordon Ramsay and his show for years, I decided to finally try one of his restaurants and see if his cooking really did warrant everyone’s raving reviews. Unlike the typical restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Steak seeks to stray from the typical steakhouse atmosphere while still maintaining the level of quality associated with the chef. I walked in and sat in the bar area and I must say that the goal of the restaurant – to capture the American contemporary dining experience – was achieved easily. The place was lively with its dimmed lights, loud music, and beautiful staff, so it was easy to find energy and life in the restaurant. The food was no less visually appealing or appetizing, and I would say that it was a great experience overall. This departure from the cookie cutter dining experience was wonderful, and I can say that an innovative customer environment, even in the restaurant industry, works wonders for pleasing the customer.

    • Gordon Ramsay is truly a character to watch, and his personality is a refreshing departure from the stuffiness of traditional chefs; he is brutally honest and adheres to a high standard of quality without compromise. I had never heard of this steakhouse, but the pictures reflect his very modern, creative personality. The bar alone seems like it would be a cacophony of chatter, music, and silverware. The atmosphere would undoubtedly be different than the dining area due to the cylindrical bar wall reflecting the noise and separating an admittedly loud, yet relatively peaceful dining experience from the excitement of the bar; again, a similar situation would be the separation of the floors, giving the upper tables a sense of excellence and glamor. This is quite a restaurant, and the atmosphere looks like it would be a match for the fine cuisine that Chef Ramsay would prepare.

      • Could you tell all of that from the pics? That is amazing. What do you think sets this apart from any other steakhouse? Better yet, besides the food, what makes this place so special and fancy?

        • The restaurant industry is always looking for ways to stand out, and modernizing their atmosphere is a terrific way to add a unique element to their cuisine. Your mood changes when you are placed in certain settings and situations, and like you said, the dimly lit room and loud music must have given you a sense of adrenaline similar to what you would feel at a nightclub or a lounge. If you take a look at the Senteo article “Experiential Innovation for Bankers,” Michael mentions that banks are attempting to translate this same sense of atmospheric emotion to the banking environment. While there are no guarantees it will be as successful as it has been for the restaurant industry, it is a step towards new, innovative ways to bring life to banks.

      • You really are an insightful guy, Stan. I didn’t analyze the place as much as you did! On top of that you seem to know your stuff when it comes to relationship and customer centricity 🙂 Do you think a place like this could function as well without all the bright lights and fancy waiters? There are alot of plain Jane steakhouses out there, but they seem to do fine. Senteo talks about how you need to stand out and form a relationship to really be successful. Think this place could pull it off?

        Different industry, I know, but just wanna see what you think 🙂

        • I might be jumping the gun since Stanley has not commented yet, but I think that the restaurant would do fine because of the food they serve. The service and atmosphere is great, but the food is probably the most important piece of the puzzle. Prices would drop and there would be less traffic, but the restaurant could probably sell their food out of a trash can and still have business – it really is that good. It just goes to show that if your products also have good service and atmosphere, you can charge way more for them.

          • Well I don’t think Stan noticed my question, so thanks for answering! I guess when it comes to products, you really are selling the entire package. If the stuff is good it will sell, but if the stuff is good and looks cool it’ll sell for more.

            • I am sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I agree with Ray Andrew and his belief that the restaurant would be successful regardless of whether or not it boasted a unique staff and atmosphere. The primary reason that restaurants are opened is because the cuisine is something to be experienced. Gordon Ramsay may be a celebrity chef, but prior to that he was simply a man who was able to cook amazingly well. Now that he has his reputation, he is able to command respect and open restaurants in the style that he sees fit. However, prior to this his restaurants were opened based solely on his culinary merit. I believe that if he was able to command enough respect and attention from his cooking skills to open his first restaurant, then at this stage of his career he can do so again. The name “Gordon Ramsay” will draw people to the restaurant to try his cuisine; even a no frills restaurant will attract customers because there are those who are simply seeking to taste the chef’s recipes.

      • Honestly I’m just as stunned as the others. You really did nail it; when I walked around it really did feel like three different environments. The bar area we sat in was so much more crowded, loud, and lively. Walking to the bathroom took me through the regular dining area, which was so much more composed and reserved. But the second floor just gave you chills when you walked up there. You could see the entire restaurant and felt like a king!

    • I’ve never eaten at his restaurants but I’ve heard of Gordon Ramsay. Do you think the style and appearance of the restaurant made the experience better, or was it the food? Were the servers different from how they would be at other restaurants? So was the atmosphere different from the usual restaurant? This looks and sounds like a high class sports bar. Was the bar totally different from the rest of the restaurant? It looks really cool though. Sorry for so many questions, I just don’t get how it’s any different just from the pics.

      • Let me try to answer these in order.
        Well, the food was great, but I think the atmosphere made it better. You could really just lose yourself in that environment.
        Servers were very friendly and engaging. Not only were the men handsome and girls sexy, but they knew the menu and did great when it came to matching our energy and emotion.
        This was definitely different than a dark, private steakhouse – I’d go here over somewhere else any day!
        The bar was like a little zone of excitement and adrenaline because they had the basketball game playing, people just standing and talking with drinks, and servers coming and going. Everywhere else seemed pretty tame by comparison.
        Overall, really cool place to just go and mingle, maybe grab some great food and a drink.

        • So would you say that it was a mix of a sports bar and a steakhouse? Reminds me of somewhere like Applebee’s but a whole lot fancier.

    • This place looks awesome! Ultra modern and lively, plus music and good looking servers to keep the energy flowing? Sounds like a place I wanna visit 🙂 Banks need to pick up on this and renovate their branches to be fresh and new like this restaurant! Imagine how much more fun it would be to have better music, modern designs, and colored lighting to reflect the mood. Alexey posted a modern bank a while back, and I think that concept could (and should!) latch on here. What if you walked into the bank and was greeted by an attractive man or woman in classy but trendy clothes? I know I’d be a bit more interested. And if the bank was modern and different than a desk and chairs? Sounds like a match made in heaven for where I wanna bank! 🙂

      • It really is quite different from the restaurants I’m used to. I think banks really could learn a lesson from this and try to spice up their branches. I thought it was fun and got me in good spirits just walking into the restaurant, and I think banks could do the same if they got to renovating their buildings and staff.

    • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, restaurants are selling the experience just as much as they are selling a food. Do you think your little steak was worth $50 because the meat itself is worth that much or the time and skill used to cook it costs that much? You’re paying to sit at a nice restaurant, and that’s exactly what they keep in mind when designing it. The place looks great, but that’s because they have to be if they want to charge that much. Not ordinary or typical, but not surprising either.

      • No, the steak itself probably was not worth what I paid, but the entire experience was. You are right, restaurants need to sell their design and their atmosphere to command the prices they do, but who says banks cannot do the same? We pay good money for food and service, and I know there are people who would pay more to have better service at a bank. Like you said, ordinary or typical for a restaurant, but if it was at a bank? Now that is something noteworthy!

        • Banks do not strive for fancier branches or radically changed service because that isn’t what they’re there to do. You sit in a restaurant and enjoy your food there. Meals take a while, so having a nice place and waiters coming back and forth is expected. No one would wait around in a dump.
          No one decides to spend an hour sitting at a bank and doing their account transactions. Banks are quick places where you can see a representative, tell them what you need, and it is done virtually instantaneously. There is minimal waiting and really no need to sit around and linger afterwards. I’m not gonna sit there and say “Wow, my bank has some really cools chairs. I’ll sit here and chat with someone for half an hour.” You come to a restaurant to linger and enjoy your time. You go to a bank to get work done.

      • You know, you shouldn’t knock the review because you probably would enjoy the restaurant as much as Ray did. But I love your response. You know why? Because you’re saying the most important part of the restaurant experience is the experience itself! That’s exactly what Michael and Senteo are trying to explain – the customer experience is vital to business success! 🙂 You may want to deny it, but you unconsciously realize that customer experience is important, and likewise it is important for customer experience to be part of every business (including banks!) So Aaron, you may disagree and argue with us, but I know deep down you actually get it 🙂

        • If the food is good then of course I’ll enjoy it. I don’t like his conclusions, not the restaurant. I’ve explained it multiple times: banks are not in business to sell experiences. Restaurants may have food, but you’re really paying for someone to wait on you and take care of you while you eat. Banks are in business to make sure your money problems are solved. If there isn’t anyone to help you then of course the bank won’t do well, but if there’s someone there to help get things done, even if the experience is only decent, then the bank will be fine. Why? Because no matter how bad the experience, your money issues will be solved. It’s important for restaurants, but that’s way more important for them than it would be for a bank.