It has become increasingly apparent that some customers are dining with us, expecting one thing and receiving something completely different. Sometimes this is a pleasant surprise and their dining experience turns into a wonderful night of discovery. For others they are bewildered, confused and write anonymously to Tripadvisor.
“Customers are confused” I cry “they don’t get who we are, what we do”
“We’re a French restaurant” replies Stephane calmly “what’s so confusing about that?”
If we were like all the other French restaurants in town, adapting to British taste, producing recognizable dishes, setting the table with side plates for bread then there would be no confusion, but we do not pretend to be French.
It is time to highlight why we are different, to clarify what happens within French Living.
And so here is our French Living
promise to customers, staff and suppliers. This is what we promise to deliver every time you step through our door:
Fresh, French Food
We cook with natural, fresh ingredients, nothing industrial, processed or frozen. We even peel our own carefully selected potatoes!
We share our knowledge of French culture, language and lifestyle with all our customers. Feel free to put us to the test….
We serve our food promptly, personably, always with a smile, with the aim of ensuring you smile back.
We create that gorgeous warm holiday feeling; touching all your senses – French tunes, smelly cheese, aromatic Corsican flowers, lavender and rustic shutters – you can even wear your flip-flops and favourite t-shirt!
So, let me elaborate.
food doesn’t sound that original for a restaurant, but you may be surprised to discover that French Living
is one of a tiny minority of restaurants who have not resorted to cheap, quick processed ingredients. We order fresh vegetables, not ready-prepared and vac-packed and we peel, chop and cook!
French food doesn’t sound that unique either but if you have ever lived in France, or taken a holiday right in the heart of France, then our menus will be familiar – we serve hearty French classics, without any pretension or fuss on the plate. For customers more used to British gastro pub food, our style may not suit. I hope this is beginning to clear the fog and reduce the confusion.
OK, so how do we bring the concept of discovery into a restaurant? Stephane and I always had the intention of giving more back to customers and the community when we created our business. We have done this by visiting many local schools over the years, sharing French culture and lifestyle with children.
We have also invited schools into French Living, like a trip abroad. For some of the children this is the closest they have ever got to crossing the channel. Opening children’s horizons through language and lifestyle has been a pleasure and continues to bring a smile on to Stephane’s face.
Stephane also likes nothing more than translating a letter, helping out with holiday bookings, recommending his favourite Corsican restaurants!
And let’s not forget our Discoveryevenings
, created soon after the restaurant opened in 1996 which have hopefully broadened the taste-buds and knowledge of many customers. And they continue to be a popular night out.
I use the words customer care rather than customer service because I feel this describes how we are different. French Living
does not follow a corporate style. We are a family business, nurturing a family feel with staff and suppliers. And this is why we care. Genuinely care. Our family is hurt if customers don’t smile. I should know! Our kitchen at home is not a happy place if the Saturday service did not go to plan!
Once again, our décor is not corporate, and certainly does not follow trends or fashion. It’s full of bits and pieces that remind us of Corsica, Toulouse and Paris – painted in Mediterranean colours to bring the sunshine to Nottingham and transport you back on holiday for a couple of hours.
I really hope this clears any confusion and most importantly makes you smile!