A restaurant’s artful use of influence that surprised and delighted me

“Aged and hand–cut especially for Friday’s, half a pound of one of the most Steak and potatoesflavorful, popular steaks around, expertly seasoned and fire–grilled to your order. Then glazed and served with our Jack Daniel’s glaze and creamy mashed potatoes.”

“Honey, I’m ordering the Jack Daniel’s Flat Iron Works entree!  It looks delicious!” After reading the same description, my wife says, “Order that for me too.” Mouth watering, I quickly picked up our cordless phone and began dialing the number listed on the TGI Friday’s website.  Seconds later, I found myself impressed by how professional and courteous the young lady was that answered the phone.  After learning that I wanted to place a carryout order, she placed me on hold.  About a minute or so later, a young lady name Miriam picked up and began interacting with me.  Miriam, was personable, cheerful, and eager to help me!

You might be wondering, “Where is the artful use of influence that surprised and delighted you?” The incredible reality of influence is, it frequently effects us without our conscious awareness.  In this particular situation, I found myself liking both of the TGI Friday’s employees right away.  What’s amazing is I didn’t realize the specific tool of influence that had started working on me until I sat down to write this post.  No, it wasn’t hunger!  🙂   It was what Dr. Robert Cialdini labeled as “Liking” in his best-selling book, “Influence: The New Psychology of Modern Persuasion.”

I’ve owned that book since 1991.  I’ve read it countless times.  And, I’ve even completed an advanced training course with six tapes and workbook about the principles Dr. Cialdini revealed in the book.  Hopefully, you recognize that the reason I’m divulging all that info is not to impress you, but to impress upon you that regardless of my extensive study and utilization of the principles of influence, they still have an impact on me.  The main reason for this is that I go into many situations knowing what I want.  What do I mean?  I knew full well what I wanted from TGI Friday’s.  I wanted to be treated courteously, cheerfully, and in a timely manner.  I also wanted a delicious meal.  With the exception of my steak not being cooked exactly the way I wanted it, the folks at TGI Friday’s located at 61st & Memorial in Tulsa, OK, delivered on all fronts.

Wait a minute!  Now, let me tell you how they surprised and delighted me.  After I arrived at the restaurant, Miriam greeted me with the same cheerful and eager-to-help attitude.  Then she went the extra mile by offering me a drink while I waited for her to get my food and change.  By the way, I turned down the drink.  Anyway, when Miriam returned with my bag of piping hot food, she also handed back the Buy One, Get One Free Jack Daniel’s entree coupon I was given for my birthday with the manager’s approval.  I remember asking her, “You’re giving the coupon back?”  Miriam cheerfully said,”Yes, I am!  You can use it again until the April 30th expiration date.  Isn’t that cool?”  I said, “Yes, that’s very cool!”  I grabbed the bag food and gave her a tip.

Do you think I used the coupon again before the expiration date?  Absolutely!

I’m curious.  Can you identify all of the six principles of influence that occurred during my experience with TGI Friday’s staff?  If you’re a master of influence, it should be easy for you.  Please write your answer in the comment section below.

To your success,