Two flavors of Service Design

Recently I have experienced two very different kind of service. With both of them I have learned a lot about Service Design.

Brand New Kind-of-fast-food chain

Some friends and me went for lunch to a nearby mall. The usual “Where do we eat today?” question was early killed by a new place recently inaugurated: superb visual and interior design, well tailored marketing proposals, and the promise of heavenly hamburgers. So we entered the queue.

–Hello, may I take your order?

–Hello. I want a hamburger menu.

–What type of hamburger?


–Rare, medium or well done?

–Well done.

–Ok. Follow that queue, please. Have a nice meal. And thank you.



–Rice or salad?


–Salad, with?

–Eeeh, whatever…


–Lettuce, please.

–Bread or no bread?

–Bread, please.

–Ok. Follow that queue, please. Have a nice meal. And thank you.



–Coke, water, lemonade, wine?


–Would you like some ice?

–Yes, please.

–Would you like some lemon?

–Yes, please.

–Coffee or dessert?


–Ok. Follow that queue, please. Have a nice meal. And thank you.



–Yogurt ice cream, creampie, strawberry ice cream?

–Strawberry ice cream.


–Yes, please.

–Which flavor? We have…

–Those pink over there. Please. Thank you.

The hamburger was not bad at all, but not that good…

The bad thing about this model is not that you have to choose everything, but that it does not accomplishes the basics of fast food: I want it fast. Not necessarily fast done, neither fast eated. But I want it served as soon as possible.

If the possibility to choose everything is marketed as an advantage, find a better way than fiftteen questions and 3 queues, each one crossing through the others.

And I don’t want to say thank you a thousand times, thank you very much. You’re not reinforcing any positive behaviour. You are just pisting me off.

Note: the name of the place has omitted to protect the innocent (the staff) and me from nagging community managers. 

La Cofradía Restaurant

I had this chat with a friend of mine:

–Where are you going to spend your holidays?

–In Asturias, near Galicia’s border.

–Hey, then cross that line! I found an as-to-nish-ing restaurant in a little coast village.


–They have a rice with lobster simply heavenly. Served in an casserole, more than enough for two people. Just 30 euros.

–Sounds nice. I’ll try to remember it.

–You need to do better than that. You have to book. There are two shifts for eating. You are late, you are out.

–Eeeh, what’s the point with that?

–Well. Being o’clock is about the rice to be served when it better tastes: freshly cooked.

–And booking?

–That way they can buy just as much as they need.

So my family and me went to holidays and eventually landed in the restaurant. It was as told: superb rice, served on time, and, furthermore, a waiter who quickly engaged with usand made us feel comfortable. He even has the same name as my son, who received a special dedication. A pro.

So what I learned here is:

  • No marketing needed. Just good old social media: no so-called friend of yours is going to recommend to you a restaurant in a remote place if it is a bluff.
  • It’s not only about the food, it’s the experience: the narrow road through the bucolic landscape, the little fishing village, the seaside restaurant.
  • The logic of the service and its restraints are win-win: they buy just what they need, and you get the meal at the best moment.
  • Promises delivered.

Note: if you feel curious, this is website of the restaurant. Please, be o’clock.

This is NOT the case of total choice vs acceptance of a very defined service:

The first example,  it’s about being left handling complexity.

The last one, far more interesting, it´s about being commited to a sound proposal which results as expected


Posted in Business Design, Service Design
One comment on “Two flavors of Service Design
  1. jose manuel says:

    Hombre, por favor, donde va a parar. Comer el arroz caldoso de la Cofradía de Rinlo es un experiencia mítica 😀

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