CategoryCustomer Service

The Missing Central Park

The catering desk recently heard from a customer who was upset with the lard in the icing. The problem is, we don’t use lard, we’ve never used lard, and I’m not even sure if our supplier carries lard. But none of that matters because the customer and all her guests believed that what covered her cake was not a swiss meringue buttercream made of egg whites cooked with sugar then whipped with...

Unicorn Cakes

My friend , Peter Phoa, and a videographer, Chris Halpern, did a great job of videotaping my recent talk. Watching the 5 minute clip from Peter, I realized that in one story, I never really came out and said my point. My point was: no matter what work we do, or what role we have, we are all in customer service. Doctor, receptionist, lawyer, bank CEO, plumber, baker….we’re all serving someone, as...

Lessons from a week without water

On Tuesday, January 28th we were unceremoniously tossed out of our management office on the 12th floor of 18 King Street East – and our flagship bakery and back office on the main floor – with an announcement over the speaker system that left no room for discussion: “There is an emergency in the building. Leave the building immediately”. Apparently everyone agreed that this was...

The Ugh of Saying No

For the first few days of business back in 2011, customers would call us and say, “I’m on my way! Save me a dozen Red Velvets!”, and the catering manager (me) would dash from my desk in the middle of the kitchen to the front of the store and dutifully box up a dozen Red Velvets. I think it was Day 4 when Andrea looked at me and said, “You have to quit doing that, Jean, it doesn’t make sense to...

Behind the Scenes at Prairie Girl

In my last post of the year, I’m going to mention some of the things the team does to help us manage the really busy times for us: Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Maybe the most important part of holiday planning is ensuring our foundation is strong. By this I mean our website, our processes, our team (recruitment and training), and our products. The things that can most jam up a rush period is if...

Evolving Designer Cakes

In my last post, I listed our 2018-19 changes and promised some detail to come. Here we are at the first one: the revamp of our Designer Cake menu. When we opened in 2011, we only sold cupcakes and I was – in retrospect – annoying on the  topic. People constantly asked for cakes and my answer as the then-catering and customer service manager was that we focused on cupcakes so as to...

trite but true

I’ve been sitting here for 15 minutes trying to think of something to write about. Something upbeat and cheerful and yet honest. The clock’s been ticking. Our Brookfield store will open a week or two later than I’d hoped.  We’ve had some personnel changes – we’re still short a few experienced bakers. There’s so much to do to get our training and quality...

Bubble Gum Cupcakes

It is June already! In Toronto we had a snowy, stormy winter that reminded me of Saskatchewan. Now  the spring has been cold too so that the arrival of June felt shocking when it is still pretty cool outside. The first week of the month is the post I answer frequently asked questions received by the catering and social media team, and there are some good ones this month. 1. When will PGB open...

Sales

Imagine my surprise when I started practicing law and it dawned on me that sales was involved. If I wanted to become a partner in the  firm, I needed to find a way to build my practice. I gave a “lot” of community education seminars about Wills. Then I joined a bank and – lo and behold- discovered that banks are sales organizations: shareholders don’t want to see the same...

Discovery meeting

My first title for this post was “sales meeting” but even just writing that term scares me and since I am having such a meeting tomorrow, I will choose to call it a Discovery Meeting. My recent blogs have had a theme of (1) we have created a great protein fortified cupcake, and (2) now what do we do? Regarding (2) I have suggested that, well, really doing anything is better than doing...

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