No Pie at Marie Callender’s

Apple Pie

Outrages isn’t it? How could one visit a place known for and built upon its reputation for delicious pies and not be able to get any? You want to know how? I will tell you, someone forgot about the pies and it wasn’t me.

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Up rather early this past Sunday I made my way down to Marie Callenders for breakfast. Sure I could have picked up hash browns, pancakes and eggs at several places between my home and Marie Callenders.

Only one obvious thing makes me drive the extra distance for breakfast and its called PIE! Every time I walk in I know I will see a glass case of fresh baked pies. The smell from the kitchen is one of a kind and the service up until recently was not to bad.

No Pie For Me

After eating my typical Sunday morning breakfast I was thinking over what kind of pie I should have. Apple or Cherry, maybe perhaps one of the seasonal variety.

As I was thinking in my mind what would go well with my coffee my waitress walked up to my table and without a word placed my bill in front of me. She walked away just as quickly to tend to another table and did not come back for some time.

Was it a mistake? Was she new? The place was not anywhere near full as it was early in the morning, so no need to rush me out right?

She forgot to ask if I wanted pie. The one thing I drove the distance for and looked most forward to. In fact I would be willing to bet that over 50% of the people in the restaurant that morning were looking forward to a slice of pie.

What happens when an eatery who’s has built a wonderful reputation for pies, begins to forget to offer pie to its customers?

A Better User Experience

Of course this write up is not completely about me not getting a piece of pie. More importantly I want to make you think about what is it that your clients or customers come to you for when they can go anywhere else? What is your pie equivalent that you have built your solid reputation on and are known for?

Your clients and customers can choose to go to several other places for products and service both online and offline. They choose to come to you for some reason.

More importantly is your unique user experience consistently delivered by your employees, website, business cards, packaging and even emails?

If you have ever visited Disneyworld you know that from the moment you enter the parking lot you are immersed in a magical experience. Walt Disney made sure that his vision of the Disney brand never failed to deliver starting from the parking lot to the ticket, food, rides, the buildings… well you get the point, until every last detail was covered.

Every moment was accounted for and every employee (aka Cast Member) understands the importance of the visitors experience. I know this for a fact as I was a Cast Member once. Even though I was a programmer at Disney, I was thoroughly trained in how to deliver the Disney experience, just in case I should ever be at one of the Theme Parks and encounter a question or request from a visitor.

Ask yourself if you and your employees are delivering the pie and the magical experience everyday and every time. If not, how much better could your business be if you started exceeding the expectations of your customers? How could your business deliver a consistent message and experience in person, in products, in services and online?

I Still Want Pie

Just out of curiosity, anyone else ever not get offered pie at Marie Callenders? Or was it just me?


  • Maybe they were trying to politely tell you that you should be on a diet?! (Sorry, don’t know you or what you look like…just couldn’t resist!)

    -- Jill Whalen

  • No “Some pie for you sugah?” ????? I love it when waitresses ask me that. It makes me feel like I’m catered to and all gooey inside.

    The last time I went I was indeed asked if I wanted dessert.

    -- MIke

  • Great post Cesar! Thinking about what I want my user experience to me… what is my magic and my “pie.” Problem is I’m not sure how you turn “a good butt-kicking” into my secret sauce??? At work on it, though.

    -- Beth Gilmore

  • Nice post Cesar. Businesses should really take disneyland’s example. Just a fun fact, if you ever need a yacht or boat shipped anywhere, Yacht Exports is your best bet. They have done a great job with me!

    -- tim diaz

  • this time i am on my diet that is why i am avoiding this

    -- Savita Bisht

  • I worked at MCs right after high school. I can’t believe she did not offer you pie. Completely wrong. I do like how your article ties in with user experience. Great website.

    -- Jennifer