New mugs and sharp uniform: killer cocktail for Red Rose diners

mug1Referrals are unbelievably powerful marketing tools but do they fall from the skies… like rain? Here are cues to provoke great stories that will attract friends of your friends to dine at your restaurant.

I had guys from Nairobi over for talks on a project related to dental care. It was way past lunch-time and I had limited options for restaurants to match their class and my budget. Intuitively, I took them to Red Rose along Digo Road, next to Limitless Fashions, right across Budget Supermarket.

It’s a warm diner with about 15 tables for 4 to 6. The seats at the ground floor are red while those overhanging on a designed balcony, were white. There were large mirrors all round and together with the white ceramics on the floor and tables and large tinted windows, the space lit-up with a sense of budding flowers. Fresh.

It’s quiet too, despite the loud music raving outside from matatus enroute to Bamburi and Mtwapa.

There were other utilities like the standard stainless-steel counters, scented handwash and easy access that create a feeling of homeliness which is good when you’re looking for typical urban foods on a tight wallet.

We ordered. Their bone soup is perfect and how they serve it, a huge chunk of tender beef in a platter with a tiny bowl, salt, seasoning and diced pepper set on edge on a plain saucer. Fish and chicken are made on order, takes about 10-15 minutes, they each come with a dense exotic broth. Any of these was served with chapati, ugali or rice. Worth the waiting.

Should you try the cocktail, a combo juice of beet, mango, avocado and pineapple, insist on a jumbo-size glass, order it chilled. They deliver it with the layers intact.

Presentation is deified and this you notice with the coffee mugs. It’s typical for hotels to purchase cutlery once and for all. However, the cost for this is often the client feeling awash in one big-old bowl. It’s different when the rim of your mug is still intact and the glazing is still bold without cracks and the insides are white not yellowy with stains.

The art on the mugs and the very words, “Welcome home” seemed to suggest a true commitment from management to offer personalized service_ we have known you well and long, but what shall we serve you?

I remember the feeling… when guests would visit our home. Mom would charge us to get the newest set of mugs and hide the stained ones, those with cracked lips. It taught us that guests were special and deserved the best. If this be your mission, you’ll keep off the nasty joints where sugar has speckles of dirt, tables are shaky or take-away ideas are still shady.

Most of all, should you order tea, make sure someone with a colorful uniform takes the order and another, with plain bright colors serves it in a new, colorful and inspirational mug. That’s my wow experience.


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