I’m going to a lot of restaurants lately that seem to have adopted the “Some Assembly Required” attitude. I seem to lately end up in a line, ordering, taking a number and sitting quietly waiting for my food, only to find it arriving like a crossword puzzle I need to put together, kind of like I’m buying a cocktail table at Ikea. The other day I ordered a BLT at a local eatery and while they’re not sporting any Michelin Stars, I expect them to serve me what I ordered instead of making me build it. If I wanted this to be a do-it-yourself project, I would have stayed home in my underwear. The server brought it open and I could see it was drier than the Gobi so I politely summoned my waiter and remarked that there was no mayonnaise or anything on the bread and he proudly pointed to their condiment station where he said I could outfit my BLT however I wanted. I told him, “You obviously don’t quite know how this works. I give you my order…you’re supposed to give it to someone in the back to put together, preferably without spitting on it…then you bring it out to me and I eat it. All you’ve done here is bring me a plate full of ingredients like I’m in the mall and we’re having a birthday party at Build-A-Bear.” I’m not chipping a tooth trying to open plastic packets of mayonnaise that were probably vacuum-packed during the Nixon administration. We’re quickly approaching the day when I ask a waiter what comes with my sandwich and he replies, “A plate.” Here’s the deal…if I have to do all the work, the price should be lower or I’m giving myself my own tip. This is not what I’m looking for in a restaurant. We’re talking about my sandwich and mayonnaise but it applies to all condiments and accoutrements. I happen to like mayonnaise and it never works so well as when it’s on a BLT. It’s a required ingredient. I also eat mayonnaise because I don’t like my cholesterol to drop below 3000…so it’s really a medical necessity. If I don’t say I don’t want it, I expect you to put it on it. How hard is it to slather something on bread? Geez, 4-year olds do it with peanut butter all the time. It’s not like I’m asking you to drop it on the floor like they do.
I think we’re suffering through this condiment station uprising because people no longer order off the menu. The chef creates menu items with ingredients he knows works to make the dishes taste the best he can and then customers come in and try to re-invent the dish as if they were Remy in Ratatouille. I order things because I want to eat their version of the dish, not my version. If I wanted my version, I’d just stay home and make it myself. I understand that people might not like certain things but if that’s the case, don’t order food with that stuff in it. If you don’t like onions, order a dish without onions. If you can’t eat cheese, don’t order the deep-fired mozzarella because if you order it and ask them to hold the cheese, don’t be surprised if the chef pays your table a visit carrying a cleaver. As a customer paying the bill, I understand you have a right to eat something you like but if you don’t see it on the menu, you’re probably in the wrong restaurant. If you want a sandwich with oatmeal raisin cookie, turkey and pickles, the Subway is right down the street.
California, over the years, has evolved into a ready-made state. I don’t even like going to a salad bar. We pay for things assembled, we hire gardeners and housekeepers. What’s next…will I have to cut my own grass? Wash my own laundry? Shine my own shoes? Good Lord, where will this madness end?
It’s not really that different in business. We offer a lot of possibilities and will work with you more than your waiter. We also hope you’re enjoying our new retail brands and products for the industry. New brands like Alessi, Areaware and our new designer sunglasses collection from Bobby Jones, Carmen Marc Valvo and Michael Stars are live on our website. And we’ll continue to treat our customers professionally and get your orders to you…on time and on budget. If you’re curious about click on the tab and see. We also have our 2015 catalog ready to ship and you can move through the IMC catalog from category to category and find many products that will accent your client’s event and we’ll get you what you want even if we have some suggestions on how to make it more rewarding. Go to the Catalog page of the IMC website and put your order in and we’ll get them to you. Let us know if you’d like samples. We want to help you make sense of your client’s request so we offer choices between new products and classic items so they can make presentations memorable. And IMC cares that your order is correct so we keep lots of products around that are suitable for your events but we’ll let you decide what works best for you and jump in to help you with decisions about products and decorations. And if your client has invented a holiday or celebration, we can also custom-make almost anything you can dream to make your client’s event all it can be. Take a look at our YouTube channel to see some videos showcasing popular products for some ideas on how to use them. We take our business relationship seriously and we want you to enjoy, give and receive our products and be able to use them every day. We look forward to working with you and we always have ideas to make our products work for your clients. The 2015 IMC catalog is live and available virtually at Zoomcatalog.com if you’re tired of fighting paper catalogs. It can be viewed nicely with your laptop, iPad, tablet or phone. IMC is the recognized leader in the introduction of new retail brands to the promotional product industry and has multiple design awards from both ASI and PPAI. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented more than 48 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. See great ideas and items from Fred & Friends, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Umbra and Redwear. We invite you to browse any of our 2,300+ products on the IMC website to see items suitable for any occasion or event and pieces you can use to personalize your relationship with your clients. We have promotional products for every event, show, convention, corporate store and company program that will keep your client looking to you for new ideas. What do you think? Let us know with a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter. IMC wants to know…would you like fries with that?