The line is always impressive.
It goes all the way down the street, neatly turns left and continues around the corner.
It's amazing, until you realize that the line across the street, equally as long, is for the same restaurant.
That's when it goes from being impressive to insane.Then it gets insane-er.
Because you come back the next day, and the day after that, and the line is always that long.
Why are people so obsessed with these €5 sandwiches from some random street in Florence?
Sure, they’re damn good. But my hypothesis as to why the restaurant does so well is only partly because of the sandwiches.
It’s the experience.
The meat isn't cut beforehand. They take massive blocks of meat and carefully carve the thinnest slices off before your eyes.
When the bread is first sliced, you see a puff of steam escape, proving that the bread was freshly made.
The employees are always cheery, despite the fact that they fight the long lines, day in and day out. By the time I got my sandwich, I could barely contain myself. I handed my credit card to the cashier, and to my disappointment, he told me that the card machine wasn’t working. Cash only.
I had just used my last few Euros, and my girlfriend and I started fumbling through our pockets to see if we had enough change to pay.
Seeing us struggle, the cashier said, “don’t worry about it -- you can come back later to pay!”
Put trust in people and they will come running.
They will wait in line for hours, tell their friends about you, and help whenever they can.
Even though we ended up finding enough to pay right away, realize what the cashier did to us.
If that experience happened to you, wouldn’t you tell everyone about that place if they asked you where to get good food in Florence?
Wouldn’t you tell them about how long the lines were, or how the cashier trusted you to come back and pay later because you didn’t have enough cash?
The potential benefit of positive word of mouth is significantly more important than the money they would lose if someone never came back to pay them.
Maybe, just maybe, that is why they have 17,300+ reviews on tripadvisor or why they were named the most reviewed restaurant in the world in 2014.
Because if you put trust in people, you give them a reason to prove you right.