Little Things: A Free Drink for Takeout

Pei Wei Restaurant

Pei Wei Restaurant

This site has moved. Go to to read about the Little Things from Pei Wei.

I was at Pei Wei the other night, picking up a much needed and specifically requested order of Spring Rolls for my pregnant wife. I walked in, placed my order, and expected to wait 5-10 minutes. As the checkout procedure comes to a close, the clerk grabs a to-go cup and asks, “Would you like a free drink while you wait?” I gladly take her up on her offer, grab me some Mandarin Green Tea, and wait smiling for my order to be done.

This is a simple, no-brainer tactic that can only help boost Pei Wei’s business. Their cost for that drink? Probably less than 20 cents. But it’s got me moving them to the front of the line anytime I want takeout. It’s made me consider something else as a possible necessity when making the decisions. A necessity that’s going to give them an edge every time.

Nice job.


3 responses to “Little Things: A Free Drink for Takeout

  1. Great example of Principles vs. Policies. Policy – don’t give away stuff for free, Principle – unexpected, simple gestures go a long way. It looks like Principles won out this time.

    (You’ve got to love those very specific pregnant requests!)

  2. Of course, you have to keep reinventing, cuz the unexpected can quickly become expected and taken for granted.

    The right thing happens when the Policies are made to support the Principles, and not the other way around. The ultimate policy should be to do the right thing first, above all other policies.

    And yes, very specific . . . .

  3. Pei-Wei is already one of our favorites…I might have to pick up more takeout.

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