So many restaurants do not get that they have brands too, or should at least attempt one and fulfill its promise.
During a recent trip to New Orleans, I had the pleasure of eating at one that gets it right: The Commanders Palace. This is the well-known restaurant located on Washington Avenue in the Garden District. It’s no wonder that this five-star restaurant was voted the most popular restaurant in New Orleans 18 times. And it is also no wonder that some of the most well known chefs started their careers there, such as the much beloved Paul Prudhomme and the popular Emeril Lagasse.
The Palace is beautiful without being austere and the staff is highly professional, knowledgeable and attentive. The tables were decorated with white linen table clothes and napkins, and were impeccably set.
As we sat down, one of the wait staff noticed that two of the women in our party were wearing black slacks. He immediately replaced their white napkins with black ones so neither ended up with white lint on them after dining.
I must say, I have dined in many wonderful restaurants over the years but I can’t say that I have ever dined at one that was this observant or caring.
The level of excellence never wavered throughout the evening and, with each dish placed before me, I was blown away with both the presentation and taste.
The Commanders Palace understands its brand – it’s for those who honor a meal – when most in the restaurant industry do not. You don’t have to be a fine dining establishment to have a meaningful brand. Even McDonalds’ brand of “fun” resonates with a large populace.
But when you find any brand, whether a restaurant or something else, that has a brand promise (most don’t) and fulfills that promise (even less), it’s a pleasurable experience for me as a brand strategist. And it’s even better for those you serve.