Monday, June 24


There is nothing better than a great restaurant experience – it’s experiential marketing at its finest.

This past weekend in Los Angeles I experienced one of the best of the best at the restaurant A.O.C., from beginning to end, right out of the textbook.

A.O.C is super star chef Suzanne Goin’s creation, and it’s a good one at that.  Anyone who is claiming “farm to table” is passé has never had Suzanne’s food.  Simply incredible, and still breaking new ground.  The grilled vegetables were the best I have ever had, bar none.

When we called for the reservation, we asked if we would be able to buy a signed cook book, it’s one of our “things” we do when we do the restaurant thing.  The host said that they were not sure if they had any, or if Suzanne would be in the house that night, but they would try.  That was cool enough for us.

We were meeting friends and got confused on timing so we ended up checking into the restaurant about 45 minutes before our reservation.  The place was packed so we told the host that we’d pop back at our scheduled time.  Again, we asked about a signed book and they replied that they just weren’t sure.  Suzanne wasn’t in the house and they didn’t think they had any.  Oh well, cool enough, we were not going to sweat it.

When we came back 45 minutes later, the host and the entire wait staff seemed especially happy and smiley, which was nice.  They escorted us to our table and there sat a book, opened to the first page where Suzanne had signed it.

In the 45 minutes we were gone with friends, they hunted down a signed book and had it waiting for us. We were in fact 2 minutes late, and they were worried that we were going to be no shows.

Incredible, incredible, incredible.  Just like the food, the wine, the plate presentation, the music, and of course the service.  A well-rounded and consistent restaurant experience I am sure just like Suzanne designed it.  And a model of what building any kind of a brand experience should aspire to.


What’s your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
-       President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
-       Author, The Experience Effect series
-       Professor, NYU
-       Contributor, Entrepreneur

BTW -- Suzanne's book is about Sunday Suppers, which my blogger friend Family Foodie should love given her #SundaySupper movement!  That was just icing on the cake and made me smiler even harder.


  1. I love this post! We just returned from a weekend in Orlando with the kids. Lots of dining experiences from casual to Emeril's and everything in between. It is amazing that, in most cases, you can tell the level of care and service from the minute you are greeted by the hostess.
    Our most memorable experiences are not always about the food per se, but about the memories that were made and how the restaurant made us feel during our dining experience.
    Now... how do I get a copy of Suzanne's Cookbook? Sounds like one I would treasure.

  2. You are so right! And the title and forward of the book made me think of you instantly! It's on amazon and if you search for Suzanne Goin it pops right up! Jim.