Not long ago, we received a brochure in the mail from a famous local chicken restaurant announcing ‘Now, free delivery until midnight’. We love their chicken, so I filed this away in the back of my mind.

Driving home at about 10 PM one evening, and feeling hungry for chicken, I said to myself, “I’ll save them the trouble of delivery. I’ll pick it up on my way home.” Arriving at the restaurant’s back door take-out counter at 10:15 PM, I saw them cooking up a storm and I cheerfully ordered my chicken.

  • “We’re closed for pick-up. It’s a quarter after 10”, was the reply.
  • “But I got a brochure saying that you deliver until midnight!”, I protested.
  • “Yeah, we do. But we’re closed for pick-up.”
  • “But I’m here. You’re here. The chickens are here.”
  • “No, we’re closed for pick-up…it’s our policy.”

What’s wrong with this picture? It was their policy. They were open for delivery till midnight, but closed for pick-up at 10:00 o’clock. It makes no sense. Now, I’m no dummy…and I wanted my chicken. So I grabbed their business card, went out to the curb, sat on the hood of my car, called the restaurant and placed my ‘home delivery’ order. When the delivery guy came out 5 minutes later, I said, “By the way, are you going to the Cooper house?”

  • “Yes I am”, he replied.
  • “Well, I can save you the trouble.” Pulling out my Visa card, we completed the transaction on the hood of my car and I went home with my chicken.

But, we shouldn’t have to work this hard to be a customer. So, here’s the question. Do your policies make it easy to do business with you…or do they make you look goofy? The first rule of business is, “Make it easy for the customer to buy.” The 2nd rule is, “Sell them the damn chicken.”

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