When restaurants give away something good for free, you know there’s going to be a line, chaos, and generally, an unpleasant experience. And while some stores are willing to deal with the lapse in good service to get tons of customers through the door, they’re forgetting one important thing: The customer experience is not about free stuff.

Customers are not going to remember the product they got for free — they’re going to remember how they were treated (and that’s what they’ll talk about).

Chick-fil-A learned their lesson. This time, they offered free breakfast with a reservation.

Chick-fil-A coupon

The reservation does more than just ensure the line won’t be crazy when customers arrive — it makes customers feel special.

And as smart marketers know, when people feel special, they tell their friends, they come back for more, and they become loyal customers.

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