Chicken in the Chicken Soup

(for those of you new to the blog, check out my first post here)

Yesterday I was on the lookout for some Chicken soup to take home for dinner – to care for some sick family members. I went to Friedman’s Delicatessen, highly recommended by a co-worker of mine, and asked if they had chicken soup in addition to matzoh ball soup. The guy behind the counter said yes but that the soup had no chicken. I told him I’d come back. At $11.95 a quart, no chicken didn’t make any sense to me, even if it does taste homemade.

I went a few shops down to Hale and Hearty Soup, which I generally like, and tried their chicken soup. It was good, but not traditional enough and, in this case, not what I was looking for. So I went back to Friedman’s and a guy who was clearly the manager and owner said, “I’m glad you’re back. We can put chicken in the soup. We didn’t used to because we were kosher and the kosher chicken is expensive. But now we can.” The chicken went in the quart of soup, and I bought a couple of half sour pickles as well.

I have no idea what the real story is about the chicken. But I do know that this interaction single-handedly changed my impression of Friedman’s. I became a customer, a happy one at that (the soup was delicious), and I’m going to recommend Friedman’s to other people. The owner went above and beyond to make me feel valued, and he had enough good manners and good business sense to win me over. I’m pretty sure there was nothing special about me, it was about giving a customer what they asked for, within reason. I think anyone who deals with customers – myself included in my job at Acumen Fund – has something to learn from this. The owner made a great impression, one that stuck with me, and now if anyone asks me I’m recommending that soup, which was delicious.

And the next time I probably won’t even care about the chicken.

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