Customer Disservice

     I found this quote that is perfect for today’s blog entry, "It takes months to find a customer but only seconds to lose one…the good news is that we should run out of them in no time."

     Josh playing hockey this year has meant us traveling in northern Minnesota on many weekends.  We’ve had to spend nights in hotels and eat meals at restaurants.  I could write endless blogs about the type of services and ammenities offered at all of these places but since I’ve been informed I can’t be late for the first game(that’s a whole different story), I’ll stick to last night’s experience.

      After taking him to Silver Bay in Lake County last night we headed west towards Hoyt Lakes for the tournament.  It had been snowing off and on throughout the day and was still snowing but the road was in surprisingly good condition.  That was until I saw the sign for the St. Louis County line.  It was like I went from the highway onto the snowmobile trail.  I’m not kidding.  The road was so covered in snow I couldn’t tell if the road was gravel or pavement.  I thought I had taken a wrong turn because the slush on the road’s surface was 3-5 inches deep in spots. 

     Without the help of the St. Louis County Highway Maintenance Department I made it to Hoyt Lakes.  Since it was 7:30pm we decided we better get the kids something to eat.  Six of us drove over to the only restaurant in town, Vaughns.  We were greeted by a gruff man who informed us the place was closed at 8pm.  I looked at the clock on the wall that said 7:45pm and thought, that shouldn’t be a problem since we still had 15 minutes to spare.  

     He sat us down and then a friendly waitress came by to take our beverage orders.  We then asked her if we could still get food and she said we could only order fried foods or burgers.  While we could have settled for that none of us were pleased with the service(especially not the restaurant owner who was one of the six of us).  We decided to leave hungry.

     Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota isn’t a booming town.  I seem to remember snippets of conversations about the economy in the area not being that good.  There’s great snowmobiling in the area but even though we’ve been in the area we’ve never stopped in Hoyt Lakes, now I know why.

     Unfortunately for Vaughns he didn’t just turn away a $100.00 bill on Friday night.  We’re here Saturday and Sunday with a team of hockey players.  There’s roughly 15 other families here for the weekend that we’ll talk to and I’m going to take a guess most of them will hear about our experience at Vaughns. A few of those families might still choose to eat there but certainly not as many that would have had we had a good dining experience on Friday night.

     Some of you may be thinking, "Well, that isn’t fair, to the owners at Vaughns."  Well folks, one question we asked our waitress before we left was, "Is that the owner?"  You guessed it, "YES." was her answer.

  I’m off to the game but if you’re in business remember, "It takes months to find a customer but only seconds to lose one…the good news is that we should run out of them in no time."