AIn the last post if you read it, you will know that I ranted and raved about how brands can over promise in their advertising but let you down considerably on the actual experience.

The brand I was talking about at that time was Red Lobster a popular seafood chain across the world.
Now it is time to compliment a place on their experience, not a big brand like Red Lobster but a small pub in Colliers Wood, although it is part of a chain.

In October we want back to London for a wedding which is a whole other story and visited my wife’s sister who lives in Colliers Wood, they also have two children; a young boy and a girl. Now with us that makes a combination of four adults, and four young and very energetic children which is possibly every restaurants nightmare.

Anyone who has gone out with a group this size I am sure will agree it is actually quite hard to find a nice place to eat with such a large number and young children, they would prefer not to have the business and do not setup their eateries to be able to accommodate accordingly.

Now we always visit my wife’s sister when we are in London and go out to eat so have experienced this difficulty more than once. On our last visit I was very pleasantly surprised by what I found at The Hungry Horse a local pub in Colliers Wood, when we went to have an evening family dinner.

Rather than pulling back from the family audience this place has embraced it even though they are essentially a pub.

What they have done is:
1. Have a menu that offers great value so as such a large group you are not spending £400 on eating out and the food quality and portions are great for the price and varied enough to offer a real choice.
2. The seating is designed to accommodate large families; they have actually installed small flat screen TV’s in the side of the booth playing children’s channels.
3. Though it is pub, the seating is set away from the bar and the seats spaced out enough for the children to not feel cramped and varied enough to accommodate large families through to couples.
4. ​Last but not least the staff were fantastic, very friendly, helpful and welcomed the children rather than thinking ‘oh my god, what a pain…’

So in summary we had a very relaxed meal with the four children all sat in a booth with their own meals while the adults were on a separate table having adult conversations and maybe a tipple or two. (After all it was a birthday celebration!)

And how did they achieve this? Well they are not being pretentious at all as a brand, they acknowledge what they are and rather than over promising and under delivering they concentrate on keeping it simple and just delivering a nice place to have a meal and / or a drink no matter if you are a young couple or a large family.

The end result is that they are busy every night of the week which is not what many pubs or restaurants in England can now claim. I would not have given The Hungry Horse a second glance before this but based on the experience next time I am in London and we are looking for a place to go we would now walk through their doors.

So what is the point behind this post? Essentially it is saying that it is not the surface gloss that makes the brand but what lies beneath it when you actually experience the brand, and personally I wish more brands realized this and concentrated on the end experience rather than the fluff. After all that is what will make you go back. All the great advertising in the world does not actually deliver the true brand experience as is demonstrated by Red Lobster.

Finally, credit then to The Hungry Horse then in Colliers Wood for delivering an experience that puts you on our map and look forward to hopefully having another great experience soon. ​

Now off to find the equivalent in Jamaica.