This last week and weekend, the Tennis French Open was on and I wasn’t plugged in. For a variety of reasons, I had no access to a television in my home that followed the action, and I didn’t want to resort to watching it on my computer. I already watch my computer all day long – I’m a slave to the damned thing.
No. I needed to see the French Open (and my favorite, Rafael Nadal) on a BIG TV with BIG sound. The conundrum: Where to find this magical combination? The Open aired between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. PST, AND slid between the Tennis Channel, ESPN 2, and NBC like a gopher between golf holes. Finding a breakfast entity that subscribed to all three HD channels was a trick.
After extensive research, it was the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel that came to my rescue. I’m familiar with this property – I love working on my early morning goals on its outdoor deck, and often trot up to its deserted bar/lounge on weekday mornings to work on my laptop whilst the window next to me offers a perfect view of surfers in the crush below.
For four mornings, I trotted through the Ritz’ front doors, returning the greetings of at least four Ritz greeters. Sure, the coffee shop (the Marketplace) televised the French Open but there was no audio there. So, I’d rustle up some willing staffer near the bar to turn on the TV in the glorious bar/lounge, while I rearranged the chairs and coffee tables for my preferred viewing.
There I sat, sometimes for 20 minutes, sometimes for 3 full hours (on Sunday’s final). Sometimes I’d purchase coffee and food, and they’d studiously check in on me with fresh refills of coffee and half-and-half. Other times, I wouldn’t purchase a thing, and they’d still check in on me, ensuring my comfort level.
A few employees there knew I wasn’t a guest there, and they treated me with the same differential professionalism and love. For the most part, though, they didn’t even ask. No matter how many times I drop in on this lovely establishment, they treat me as if I reside in their Presidential Suite. (Little do they know the thousands of readers I have between this blog and my “Laguna Beach Best” enterprise. Karma is a beautiful thing.)
Where in your business can you deliver a Ritz experience to your daily clientele?