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Pale ale for sale?

Earlier this year I stayed in a New York City hotel where I was scheduled to deliver a presentation on customer service.

Shortly before my talk, I met the hotel’s beverage director who asked if I had any feedback for him pertaining to the hotel’s food and beverage outlets.

I shared a couple of pieces of feedback and then added that I was surprised that, with a selection of a dozen different beers on tap in the bar, there was not a pale ale option.

He responded, “Have you tried the Brooklyn Lager?”

I said, “Scott, I’ve tried Brooklyn Lager but I’m interested in an ale, not a lager.”

Unswayed, he said, “I’d stock a pale ale but the kegs are $169 each—which is a lot more than the others.”

“Scott,” I said, “I’ve never once stopped a bartender from pouring a beer in order to confirm the price beforehand. Neither will your customers.”

As our conversation ended, I made my way to the front of the room to deliver my remarks and noticed that he remained in the meeting room to hear my talk.

Later, when I returned to my hotel room following the presentation, I found an amenity from Scott containing a single bottle of ice cold Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The accompanying note included a quote from the presentation: “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”

That was in February. Just now, out of curiosity, I phoned the hotel bar in New York City to see if a pale ale was now being offered. Sure enough, this spring they added a tap for Captain Lawrence Pale Ale.

According to the bartender I spoke with, “It’s a good seller.”

Order Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Steve Curtin or purchase from select retailers, including Barnes & Noble.
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