Since opening our doors in May 2010, we have been extremely lucky to have gained a number of regular customers, who we welcome time after time and look after them and their personal requirements as best we can.
One in particular is Mr Bown, a lovely gentleman who we are happy to say has made us one of his favourite dining rooms.
Oh, Mr Bown! With a ring of the doorbell, he enters - dressed immaculately - with almost a fanfare, and after a customary welcome with all the staff he is shown his usual table. He requests a medium round table on the first floor by the window. Table four. This is his place, he feels comfortable here.
Is everything ready? Of course, we always have everything ready. No white napkins, we have his special shade of black. Napoleon table statue? Please remove this Frenchman!, Mr Bown has his own favourite political leaders, Generals Franco and Mussolini. With pleasure and gentle humour, his personal bronze statues are brought from the cupboard. Any other little things to remember? No red plates, food looks awful on red! And always underplates if you please. A little foie gras. Maybe some truffles. No port, or fortified wines.
Mr Bown is in the room. He his everyone’s friend, and he has many. It has been our great pleasure to be introduced to many wonderful guests of his, many of which we can also now call friends and customers. He is such a well known face in the room that sometimes we are sure that customers think he's the owner!
So it was our happy surprise that we noticed Mr Bown was approaching his 200th visit recently, which would be an achievement for a regular guest at a 20 year old restaurant, let alone a four year old one. That means he has visited us on average at least twice a week since we opened!
How can we thank him for his custom, his patronage and his consistent ambassadorship?
Mr Bown will never have a bill now at Gauthier Soho. He is always welcome, there is always his table ready for him. Customers like him are not won by PR companies, marketing departments or special offers, but by something else. Perhaps it's love?
Thank you and see you soon, Mr Bown.
|Mr Bown (in cream suit) adjusting his cuff-link on the day of his 200th visit.|