Reciprocity Re-Visited – The Spanish Restaurant

Reciprocity Re-Visited – The Spanish Restaurant: I’m on holiday at the moment but it seems wherever you go, you can’t escape a bit of consumer psychology. In this instance, I have to admit that I’m not entirely sure it was planned, but that’s beside the point – it worked! Let’s talk about reciprocity.

So, to set the scene, my girlfriend and I went to a restaurant a little down the road from where we’re staying in the south of Spain. A lot of restaurants in Spain offer fantastic value for money – if you’re interested in the history, one of General Franco’s less oppressive policies was to introduce a Menu Del Dia (Menu of the Day) which is incredibly good value; although admittedly hit and miss in quality terms!

Reciprocity Re-Visited – The Spanish Restaurant

Reciprocity has long been used by companies large and small…

Anyway, suffice to say that the meal tonight was great – we paid the bill, tipped, and then left.

As we were walking towards the car, the owner of the restaurant followed us out, called to my girlfriend, and then handed us a bottle of Cava. Perhaps they thought it was a particularly good tip, or perhaps it was a well thought through piece of marketing – Cava in this part of the world is quite cheap, so a return customer is a great return on investment.

Reciprocity Marketing in Action

Anyway, so far, no drama. However, in the car on the way back my girlfriend said the following:

That was so nice of them, I really think we should go back later this week.”

This is reciprocity in action. We had been given what seemed like a free gift and now my girlfriend, and to an extent me, feel we owe the restaurant something. Unless the restaurant was very poorly run, I’d suggest our bill covered this – and rationally I can make sense of that. But I still feel I owe them!

I haven’t got time to go in to the concept in detail again, but it just struck me as a nice case study – if you want to learn more about this, and how it can be used for small businesses, check out our post on reciprocity on the Rippleout Marketing blog.

Finally, because I believe in karma and because – regardless of how you look at it – the gesture was a fantastic one, if you’re looking for a nice place to eat Chinese food (it’s a Sunday!) in and around the Guadamar del Segura area, Happy Garden is certainly worth a visit. It’s just off CV-895.

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