Have you ever dined in a restaurant where you order dinner and when it comes you wonder, where is the salad, where are the vegetables? Then you have to order those separately. Even though it is a fine dining establishment you still have a salad and vegetables sitting in the centre of the table instead of on your plate where they should be.
Attribution: Flickr - Scott Maxwell
Just wait until you want a glass of water or bread rolls. These are not big things but they charge you for everything when they should be providing you with a complete dining experience.
Maybe you don't know that sort of restaurant because usually they go out of business pretty quickly, panned by food critics and avoided by customers. Their stingy approach to money making is a quick trip to bankruptcy. Yet one another restaurant just like this will open again soon in the hope of making money by short changing customers.
One of the common tricks used by successful businesses are to either be generous or at least appear to be generous. Why do you think serving sizes in restaurants are increasing. Even though most of the cost of the meal is labour, a full plate looks like you are getting a lot more for your money.
The moment you appear stingy people feel short changed. Now don't get me wrong, there are plenty of businesses that make money on being cheap and up-selling products. Budget airlines are a great example. We are buying the service of travelling safely from one place to another. Meals, leg room, even our luggage are essentially optional extras.
No matter how much we hate budget airlines we still fly with them because we are looking for a great deal on the core product, the flight to our intended destination. Restaurants that make you pay extra to obtain a complete meal are not providing the core service.
As core service expectations go lower then every extra item becomes a luxury. Every time there is an extra button on my shirt in case I lose one, every free refill, every loyalty scheme that gives me a free gift and every other bit of luxury makes me feel like I have come away as a winner.
Many small businesses struggle to be generous. They are not making enough money, have constant bills and cash flow issues and feel that a bit of generosity is something they can't afford.
Yet big business manages to do it with a few tricks. They never have a "small" size for your drinks, they always provide a follow up gift and they let you upgrade or super size for only a small additional fee. Yet most of these are only the illusion of generosity.
How to be generous
Make sure that you are providing the full-service in one price.
What can you easily give away for free. Sauce with those french fries is obvious, but some companies are so good this they charge other people to give away free things, such as all the software bundled on a computer or mobile phone. It is not free, the phone marker makes money by including much of that software.
What upgrades can you provide to make it feel like a amazing deal? Supersizing a meal is too obvious for me to mention (even though I just did), but what about customer support upgrades, or providing a luxury option for a small extra charge.