This is a photo of the ‘smoking section’ in the Keg, Johannesburg International Airport. I think it’s a stroke of genius. In most restaurants, tucked away in some corner, smoking sections often resemble neglected herpetological exhibits. I’m not a smoker, but I often feel sorry for our oxygenically-challenged brethren.
The Keg has turned this perception on it’s head by enclosing the busiest area of the restaurant off and calling it a Cigar Lounge instead of a smoking section. Ironically enough, it was the busiest section of the pub when I visited this evening, and my guesstimation was that less than 50% of the people inside where smoking anything at all. It appears that it is quite cool to sit in the Cigar Lounge and leaf through the morning’s paper, regardless of whether you smoke or not.
Sometimes the difference between brilliance and a missed opportunity is just a little thought. Another great example is an ancient old lady that works a till at our local Pick ‘n Pay. She always greets me when I arrive at her station by looking me in the eyes and smiling. She scans my groceries as though they are ming vases. If I pay by credit card, she glances at my name and says, “thanks for your business, Mr. Stopforth. Enjoy the rest of your day”. Mr. Stopforth. I’m one-eighth her age, for crying out loud.
Small acts of brilliance, huge impacts.