In the village where I live there is a diner called Wasp’s. On the outside, it may not look like much is happening. But make no mistake. This is the real deal. If the OPEN flag is flying, and you pass through the red wooden door, an exceptional diner experience awaits, deftly orchestrated by Jill and Bobby Jean. What is it about Wasp’s that makes it so popular — and what can I learn from Jill and Bobby Jean’s business model?
1. You can count on Wasp’s being open early and every day — 6:00 am.
2. No matter how early you arrive, Jill and Bobby Jean are already there and the coffee is ready.
3. There are inspiring messages on the walls that shake you out of your fog and make you think.
4. Jill and Bobby Jean greet you when you walk in, and have sized up your mood long before you take your seat at one of the 10 counter stools.
5. They can tell when you need to be left alone, when you need a smile, and when you’re ready to take some good-natured guff.
6. If you’re one of the regulars (and there are many), Jill and Bobby Jean know exactly what you like and what you need to get ready for your day. They even know your favorite variations ("Will it be bacon or sausage with those eggs today?").
7. If you’re not a regular, the question you’re asked is, "What can I do for you today?" And you know they mean it.
8. Jill and Bobby Jean don’t waste your time. They’ve done their prep work and are incredibly efficient at getting your order in front of you.
9. Jill and Bobby Jean get maximum use out of minimum space.
10. Everyone’s an equal at Wasp’s. On any given morning, you might share the counter with plumbers, painters, town officials, chiropractors, lawyers, publishers, firefighters, realtors, EMTs, bankers, and even kids. Everyone feels comfortable and welcome and part of the scene. However…
11. If you are rude or put on airs at Wasp’s they’ll still serve you… but your neighbors will take note.
12. Jill and Bobby Jean have a sure grip on the basics (eggs, pancakes, hash, sausage, even oatmeal with real Vermont syrup), but they know how to tweak the menu according to the season.
13. You want to eat everything on your plate because a) you watched Jill or Bobby Jean make it for you, b) because it’s really good, and c) because Jill and Bobby Jean got you to slow down enough to enjoy it.
14. When it’s time to leave, Jill and Bobby Jean will smile and say goodbye to you, no matter how busy they may be.
15. When you pass through the screen door, you feel good about yourself and want to come back.
16. At Wasp’s, it’s all about Jill and Bobby Jean. But that’s because Jill and Bobby Jean make sure it’s all about YOU.