In the hotel world we constantly hear about location and its importance in attracting customers. Is this always one of the most important factors? I thought about this question when arriving to Dulles International Airport recently.
It was almost noon when I arrived at my terminal. If I did not pick up something quickly for lunch, I would be forced to settle for a very unhealthy snack box of M&M’s, Fritos and beef jerky.
I quickly scanned the airport directory map to find only three choices. One was a sit-down restaurant, which would take too long. The second was a Mexican-style carryout place that I had tried before and didn’t like. The third was a rather popular sandwich shop that always delivered good food and solid service at reasonable prices. The only challenge was that the sandwich shop was located at the far end, by gate C2. My gate was D29, and I only had 30 minutes before departure.
I dragged my suitcase quickly and made it to the sandwich shop. I asked if the soup had any dairy products in it, and they pulled up the recipe sheet instantly. I asked if they could add vegetables to one of their standard salads, and they said it would not be a problem. They were appreciative of my business and were very friendly. I then felt obliged to tell them that although they were not the most convenient choice, I selected them because of my past positive experiences. The smiles of the workers (and the manager on duty) were contagious, and you could sense the pride in their accomplishment.
To answer the question posed in the posting’s title, I would drive as many exits as necessary to make my wife happy so she could drink her Starbucks!
If your hotel or restaurant doesn’t have the best location, what have you been able to do to compensate for this? Please share your success stories in the comments, as I know many readers are anxious to learn and hear new ideas!