Another Layer Cake “Excellence in Experience” award goes to Charcoal restaurant,which opened in our ‘hood early this year. We were peckish and looking for something new, something delicious in every sense. Charcoal came recommended and rightfully so. First, the food. I ate – no devoured – salad, bread, seafood, and greens so perfectly dressed, seasoned, and prepared that I did not even save room for dessert. (Ask anyone who knows me; this is unheard of.) Second, the service. The staff is knowledgeable, friendly, and very interested in pairing people with the right meal. They really want the experience to be gastronomically memorable for the right reasons. Third, the design. Wow. As a design geek, I was so struck by the interior’s smart use of space and impeccable pursuit of both coolness and warmth, that I told my companion, “Take a photo!”
As luck would have it, two days later, I met the architect, Tom Davis of Davis Wince Architecture. Talking with him after so enjoying being in a space he’d created was a “rock star” moment for me. While I stupidly grinned and showed him my photos, he spoke of translating the owner’s ideas about the overall experience into ambience that would augment and complement the food. I practically wanted to take a photo of him! Seriously, this conversation enhanced my already-positive experience and deepened my appreciation for work that went into it. Making this personal connection made me love the restaurant more – and it’ll be sooner that I buzz back for some of the incredible-looking dessert!
Insider note: the clever silverware rests are snippets of petrified Bincho charcoal, which is used to cook the restaurant’s signature dishes. A labor-intensive product, Bincho meets stringent building and fire codes because it burns at an extremely high temperature and is virtually smokeless.
The lesson? Take the time to make a connection with your clients, to give them a bit of “behind the scenes” information. It’s the surest way to keep the fire going.
Update: More photos of Charcoal taken by Ellen Jaskol:
Layer Cake Creative is a strategic marketing agency specializing in communications, design, publicity and online marketing that enrich your brand and support your strategic and sales goals. This Denver marketing firm specializes in promoting professional services such as architecture, construction, engineering, law, finance, and real estate.
Kimberly MacArthur Graham, founder of Layer Cake Creative, is an expert in professional services marketing with 20+ years in the design and building industry. She’s especially proficient in marketing communications including technical or creative writing and editing, articles submitted for publication, and brand messaging.