When is the last time you had a truly exceptional user experience? If I stop and think, it’s been awhile—like a really long time. I’m going all the way back to 2008-ish.

I was in Miami for the HD Expo (a show focused on hospitality, coincidentally). One night, we had clients to impress and I had painstakingly researched a wide variety of restaurants. So, after a long, hot day at the convention center, we gathered up our customers and headed over to Barton G.

Megan A. Dutta

For those of you who have had the treat of experiencing Barton G., you know where I’m heading with this. And I say experiencing instead of dining at because this restaurant took the time to create a unique and memorable encounter.

When we arrived, the building looked like a regular old restaurant. But, when we stepped inside, all of our senses were awakened. We were greeted by amazingly attentive (yet not overbearing) servers. As they led us to the table, I couldn’t help but notice all of the unique décor that created a circus-like atmosphere.

Once the group had settled in, even more fun began. One look at the menu and we were all hooked. Not only did they have some delicious dishes that we were antsy to try, but the names had everyone talking. Things like “Thai Me Up Surf N Turf” and “Kobe’s Huge Weiner” appeared and, suddenly, we were a group of schoolchildren giggling at the inappropriateness of it all. The menu was just another piece of the puzzle that set the mood for our dinner.

Once we had all settled down, we ordered and anxiously waited to see what would happen next, and we were not disappointed. Someone in the group ordered swordfish and it was served on…wait for it… an ACTUAL SWORD! I can vividly remember the “ohhhs” and “ahhhs” coming from our table as our food was placed in front of us. I ordered the chicken, which came in a chicken-shaped tin and even had a quail egg for decoration.

Every second was another surprise, especially when it came to dessert. We decided to share an ice cream sundae and cupcakes. Sound reasonable, right? Alas, Barton G. does not do reasonable. The sundae came out in a martini glass as big as my head, the cupcakes came unfrosted with all kinds of candy for decorations. We spent time creating our own “perfect” cupcake and judging one another’s creations.

We got to share an exceptional experience that night at Barton G. The dinner created a different kind of conversation, and, in turn, left us with a unique bond. And what’s better than a unique bond with your customers or prospects?