This week I am at the National Association of EMS Educators symposium at Walt Disney World. I love it here. On this trip, like many of my trips, I will be eating out. On the road when I can eat a sit-down meal I like to try local restaurants rather than a chain restaurant. I am enjoying some of Disney’s outstanding table service restaurants.
Most Menus Have to Many Choices
Do you get overwhelmed by the number of choices and decisions you have to make all day long? I do. It seems like from the moment I wake up until I go to bed at night I am being asked to or in situations where I need to make decisions.
Most restaurants have way too many menu options which leads me to my default ordering item — buffalo chicken sandwich or wrap.
My dream is to walk into a restaurant and for the host/server/owner simply say, “Relax for a few minutes with a drink and then we will bring you excellent food.”
Between now and realizing that dream I have been using this strategy.
I explain to the server “Because I am travelling I am not likely to ever return to this restaurant. Since this is the only time I will probably ever eat here what should I have?”
Most servers, without pausing immediately recommend a menu item that the restaurant is well known for. Sometimes the stories that accompany their recommendation are as good as the food.
I have yet to be disappointed by a meal when I give the server the opportunity to amaze me with their restaurant’s top menu item.
I call it a first/last meal experience.
First/Last Ambulance Experience
For most patients their first ambulance ride is also their last ambulance ride. As you know a few patients will experience EMS a few times in their lifetime and a very small fraction will strive for elite frequent flier status.
But lets stay focused on the single lifetime user of EMS. If the patient says to you, “I am not quite sure what you are going to do but I want the very best experience you can offer,” what will you provide?
Or, borrowing another food metaphor, do you want to treat your patient like they walked up to the counter and ordered a value meal? Or are you going to treat the patient like they are entering one of the most exclusive and expensive restaurants in town? (this is actually a pretty good metaphor considering the small percentage of the total population that uses EMS and the price of an ambulance ride).
For my first/last ride in your ambulance what would you want me to remember?