High Expectations

A couple of years ago, a new restaurant opened for business in town. For anyone traveling into St. George from Las Vegas or Zion National Park, it is hard to miss because it's situated on the ledge which overlooks the town. I began to hear chatter about it almost immediately:

"Amazing service!"

"Go for dinner and ask for a table overlooking the city."

"Everything we ordered was fantastic."

As time went by, the praise for this place only intensified. I began to wonder how this new restaurant could possibly live up to its lofty reputation. Would it be like that hip movie everyone tells you to see so you do and return home disappointed?

Well, a few weeks ago, my spouse and I had a rare evening without the kids, and we decided to make reservations. The weather didn't cooperate which forced us inside, but everything else exceeded my expectations. The hostess gave us a choice of tables and our server provided an excellent recommendation of rockfish over quinoa and spinach. 

Everything about the evening was perfect. No wonder everyone raves about this place. The only detail I can recall about the cost of the meal is that the experience of it all was worth more than I paid.  

Living up to already high expectations is rare. A few companies pull it off year after year to the point that it becomes part of their identity. Companies like Nordstrom, Zappos, and JetBlue come to mind.

Yet a number of smaller companies without massive marketing budgets have also succeeded in delivering on their reputation.  I purchase my car batteries from Jerry and buy a lot of groceries from the tiny Ivins Market where everyone knows my name. I skip Great Clips and go see Jeff the barber who shuts down at noon on Friday to cut hair at the veteran's home in town. Each of these small businesses competes against much larger national brands and yet all have won my family's loyalty.

As I get older, I care more about the businesses I choose to patronize. Do they listen to my needs? Do they provide more than just the product or service they are offering? What story do their business practices tell? Do they stand for something?

In many ways, the answers to these questions are the reason I've worked for Puget Systems since 2011. And to be honest, I can't imagine working any place else.