Each year, my wife S and I try to create a fun Christmas gift to give some of our friends. A couple years ago, we gave friends DIY Molten Chocolate Cake Kits. Each kit came with detailed instructions, chocolate, molds, and other essentials for creating this (way too) popular dessert. This past holiday season, instead of creating something edible, we decided to design something that would (potentially) enhance the restaurant-going experience. The intention was to create a tongue-in-cheek gift for friends with a good sense of humour.
The result was a little something we’ve named “Feedback: Calling Cards for Discriminating and Opinionated Diners”. We created 4 different calling cards, printed (as you can see) on cream/off-white cardstock with a cutlery logo in 4 different colors. Two of the cards provide the user the chance to offer a restaurant either positive or negative feedback, depending on which words on their cards they cross out. This is the text on these two cards: “Wow! What a disappointing / fantastic meal. Truly, I’m amazed. I’m definitely telling my friends and never / definitely coming back here again.” and “Hi, I just wanted you to know that the service in your establishment is staggering good / bad.” With just a swift stroke of one’s pen, the diner can tell a restauranteur what they did or didn’t like about his or her restaurant. A third card is entirely positive, giving the diner a chance to tell a restaurant which food item they enjoyed most: “Thanks for the great meal. The appetizer / main course / dessert was particularly good today.” And, of course, we left a line for our friends to fill in their names because if you feel the need to leave a comment, you should always have the courage to take ownership of your opinion.
The fourth card is meant to be used on fellow diners. It reads, “Hi there! I love your shoes / eyes / smile / appetite. Would it be a little too forward to ask if I could join you for dessert?” One friend has already complained to me that her husband has grabbed all of these for himself, to use on upcoming business trips. Each box that we gave away had 80 cards, 20 of each design. As you can see, we also made labels for the tops and bottoms of the boxes. It was really, really fun designing these and we’ve been happy with the response from friends. A couple of them are even trying to convince us to retail the cards. And while we’re giving the idea some thought, for now, we’re just happy with them being rather exclusive gifts for good friends. We just hope that if and when our friends do use these, they do so lightly and the restaurateurs who receive them either (a) see the humour in them or (b) take the opinions as real, heartfelt, constructive criticism.