Chef’s Table Offering

John Shaver of Aries Technology in Knoxville and VeraSage Trailblazer wrote Ron Baker and I about an idea he is noodling:

Since Service Level Agreements (SLAs) were killed earlier this year, we now refer to customer agreements as Knowledge Transfer Agreements (KTAs) since that title is a much more accurate statement of what we really do for customers.

In the spirit of being creative, I’ve come up with a list of KTA levels based on a steakhouse/restaurant theme.

  • A level:  The Palm (average dinner for 2 is $350)
  • B level:  Ruth’s Chris ($200)
  • C level:  Outback ($75)
  • D level:  Golden Corral ($25)

We have a "black card" level as well.  It’s called Chef’s Table.  One of my high school classmates (Todd Gray) owns a restaurant in Washington, DC called Equinox (which is consistently ranked in the top 5 restaurants in the DC area).  Todd has a table that is literally in the kitchen.  The normal waiting list for that table is several months.  You pay $350 per person (plus wine pairing if so desired) and are served whatever Todd thinks is the freshest and best quality at that particular time.  You have no idea what you will be eating; you just know it will be the best.

For about $1,000 (if you get the wine pairing), all you know is that you will be eating something and drinking some type of wine.  What a concept!

You might be thinking:  how could I ever get a customer to pay for Chef’s Table?  For us it means becoming WAY more than just a software consultant/vendor.  It means that we must create an incredibly valuable experience for our customers.  Just like Todd does at Equinox.

All of our customers are in the small- to mid-sized (SMB) space so some examples of what I consider to be part of a Chef’s Table KTA are:

  • Assist them with implementing a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE)
  • Teach them how to use project management
  • Reduce their Information Technology costs by moving to Google Apps
  • Assist them with implementing a strategy to leverage social media
  • The list is almost endless!

Does anyone else offer their own version of Chef’s Table?  And what does your KTA look like?

Great stuff John!


  1. Love the idea of focussing on knowledge but what about an KETA (Knowledge and Experience Transfer Agreement) because it’s how you deliver the knowledge not just the transfer?

  2. @Bob, I really like the idea. Are you thinking that the agreement would describe what the experience would look and feel like from the customer’s perspective?

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