Having a family, I’m now more mindful of businesses that are truly family friendly. By that I mean in attitude, not necessarily child-friendly spaces or layouts allowing plenty of space for prams (which was important to me when my children were in prams/strollers).
I’ve been to lots of places where it’s clear the staff have a disturbing level of disdain for families. I never understood the model railway place we once visited, set up for kids, where the owners were openly hostile to children. If I detect a hint of bad attitude towards children, particularly those with special needs (and I have experienced this a lot personally, unfortunately it happens all the time for so many families), then I’m out of there. If I don’t have children with me, I let the business know their ‘tude stinks (I don’t like getting in to confrontation, no matter how polite, in front of children and in these cases I deal with the matter by phone, email or a negative review somewhere).
The same applies to customer-friendly attitudes (me being mindful, I mean). I know customers can suck sometimes, I had jobs dealing with the public and some customers were beyond terrible. So I really appreciate business that are not only genuinely friendly to their customers, including children, but who care about what their customers think and act immediately on feedback.
If you follow this blog, you’ll know my family love going to Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop. It’s always a great experience because the staff are very welcoming and interact happily with Arthur and DeeW, asking questions and serving Arthur the largest cinnamon bun (which he now looks forward to on every visit, sorry Mister Nice Guy’s you’ve created a monster there). They’re aware of how much Arthur loves their cinnamon buns and told him about the modified recipe.
Last week on Facebook, Mister Nice Guy posted a competition where you could win a box of cupcakes if you suggested something they could create and serve at the bake shop. The winning submission was a banoffee pie. Within days Mister Nice Guy had one available at the bake shop. Bingo, a business that actively asks for customer input and acts on it immediately! More thumbs up!
Unfortunately I couldn’t visit the bake shop yesterday to try this new delight but seeing the photo and reading the description of ‘salted dulce de leche cheezecake’ had me drooling. We had visited the day before and I tried the strawberry rhubarb pie, with the perfect amount of sweetness:
So a large part of why we frequent Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop is because they are what I look for in a business: genuine good attitude towards children and genuine care for their customers and responding to what the customers want. For me it really is that simple but it’s amazing how many people get it wrong! When we find a business or individual professional who has this kind of good attitude, we stick with them. Another example is our optometrist, Graham Lakkis in Keilor East. This is the kind of family friendly business you would be happy to drive a long way for.
Many cheers for good businesses!
EDITED TO ADD: Thank you to Mister Nice Guy for mentioning this blog post on the MNG’s Facebook page! I’ll ‘fess up and say that when DeeW was eating her cupcake at home today, she dropped lots of crumbs on her dress. And I did the mad waving of hands and instructed her not to move a muscle. Because I used her dress like a bowl and ate up the crumbs. That’s how much I like your cupcakes.