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Customer experience: this restaurant offers a digital detox

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During a dinner with a customer, I witnessed an unusual but nowadays widespread scene. A couple, sitting a few tables away from us, spent their evening on the phone. Even though they were sitting opposite each other, the conversation only took place via their smartphones. An unfortunate time, when nothing is shared, except for his or her solitude. The smartphone becomes a mediator, the digital reflection of a very real solitude. What a paradox in our ultra-connected society?
A Roman restaurant, Casa Coppelle, has found a radical solution to the disturbances caused by our digital cuddly toy, the smartphone.

Inattentive and distracted, we are nowhere.

Our ultra-connected society overloads us, prevents us from concentrating and leads us to move from one task to another in a frenzy, as absurd as it is ineffective. This over-solicitation, in turn, prevents us from having sustained, quality relationships with our contemporaries. It will not have escaped your attention that a text message, an email, or any other type of notification received on a smartphone immediately interrupts a conversation and breaks the fragile link that had been established.
Inattentive and distracted, we are, therefore, nowhere.
Fortunately, initiatives have been taken to regain the pleasure of a conversation without unhealthy interference.

A restaurant without mobile phones: Casa Coppelle.

A short walk from the Pantheon and the Church of Saint-Louis des Français, where the first paintings ordered from the Caravaggio still hang today, is a unique restaurant: Casa Coppelle. Designed by Jacques Garcia, an internationally renowned interior designer, Casa Coppelle aims to be a link between France and Italy in the image of the couple who created it (he is Italian, she is French).
The particular feature of this restaurant is to offer its guests, in addition to the refined cuisine, the possibility of a digital detox cure during the meal. You will be invited to leave your digital cuddly toy in a secure locker at the entrance of the restaurant. While you wait and appreciate this inevitably privileged moment, the headwaiter will bring you a selection of poetry books. You will no doubt find, the inspiration to add a touch of romanticism to your meal and forget, for the space of a few dishes, your addiction to the few tactile square centimetres that connect you to your digital self.

An original marketing strategy

It has to be said, that today, gastronomy is no longer the only point of comparison for restaurants. The annoyance caused by the behaviour of others (while ironically, we tolerate our own behaviour) allows the emergence of new patterns of customer satisfaction. Is good food no longer enough?
At this time, where we have all become unforgiving judges on assessment and rating websites, where all the observations made are similar, and opposition to this model of tyranny of the greatest number, multiply, certain establishments make a choice to be different, to be remarked, not only by the quality of the food that they serve but also by the actual DNA of the restaurant itself. You may have heard about the Parisian restaurant where you eat in the dark or another restaurant where all the waiters have Downs syndrome. Are these not experiences that transcend the simple culinary aspects and leave an unforgettable souvenir? Because today, that is what marketing strategy is all about: Impressing the mind.

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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