3 Lessons from Zaatar W Zeit’s Customer Journey

ZwZ Salaam Street

I am a big fan of Mana’eesh, the carb loaded cheese or thyme Lebanese pie.   When you think mana’eesh, one bakery’s name pops up inevitably, Zaatar w Zeit.  For the uninitiated, Mana’eesh is considered to be fast food, traditionally sold on every street corner bakery in Lebanon, and known to be quite cheap.  Zaatar w Zeit, however, managed to charge a premium, and turn a traditional “mamas & papas” business into a successful multinational brand, spanning 22 outlets in 5 countries.

If you walk into some of their outlets, take for example the Salaam Street Branch outlet in Abu Dhabi, you would be able to see the kitchen, and therefore have a glimpse at their standard of hygiene.  The taste is great, but that’s highly subjective.  Even their vegetables seem to be handpicked, but these plus points alone did not make me a loyal customer.

What made me a loyal customer is the experience they deliver, either in their outlet, or on their call center:

1.  Personalization: Know (and update) Your Customer’s Contact Details

Not only does Zaatar w Zeit know my delivery address, but throughout my history with them (I’ve moved across two cities, 3 apartments, and ordered a few times from friends’ homes).  They have all my addresses saved, automatically.  This makes ordering with them wherever I am, very easy, and makes me feel like a valued customer.

2. Absence of Anxiety

Zaatar w Zeit is one of the few, if not the only food delivery chain which explicitly asks if you need change in case you are not carrying small notes.  How frustrating is it when a delivery man knocks on your door presents you the food, and tells you he has no change for your AED 500 note.  This has never happened to me with Zaatar w Zeit.

While this seems like a small thing, it actually contributes to the entire experience, and only reinforces in their customer’s perception that they are easy to do business with.  The mere fact of asking if you have change reduces the amount of “anxiety” that you as a customer may experience while waiting for your order: “will the delivery man have enough change? should I go downstairs and get some cash from an ATM?”.

Marketing Optimization firm Marketing Experiments quantified the impact of “anxiety” on email & website conversions.  It probably applies equally to customer journeys.

3. Consistency Across Channels

The overall experience is very consistent.  In fact, it’s highly predictable.  Over the past 5 years or so, in Dubai and in Abu Dhabi, Zaatar w Zeit invariably manages to deliver my order in 40 to 45 minutes.  The predictability of their delivery is what keeps me ordering more.  The wait time on their call center is also predictable and rarely noticeable.  Not so coincidentally, UX Mag lists predictability as The First Essential in a Customer Centric Business, according to their article, it provides customers:

  • A sense of control
  • Trust and safety
  • Reliability

Because of these 3 reasons, and many others, I am a loyal customer to Zaatar w Zeit.  Bon appetit!

Published by Gaby Abi Aad

Gaby Abi Aad has extensive experience in IT and digital marketing, two fields he is very passionate about, in addition to humanities, philosophy and history. Gaby currently works at an IT company, his opinions are his own.

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