Customer Loyalty and Giving Something Back

Customer Loyalty and Giving Something Back

My plan was to attend Chilli Banana‘s 20th birthday celebration, principally to write about the food.  The experience ended up being about customer satisfaction and rewarding customer loyalty.


The Brand Character of a Business

Chilli Banana is a successful Thai restaurant in the centre of Wilmslow, Cheshire.  Steve Wakefield and May Wakefield, his Thai wife, opened it 20 years ago.

Steve had previously managed the Chiang Rai in Manchester City Centre but he switched his focus to providing good food to people after they had come home for the evening, which meant relocating out of the city.

Over this period, Steve and May moved locations a few times, before settling in Chilli Banana’s current, coolly spacious, two-storey home on Water Lane, three years ago.

“We began in a pub, so I guess you could say it was always an English-Thai collaboration,” Steve says.

The key to Chilli Banana’s success is how it has generated its own unique space and character.


Authenticity is whatever you make it, and our level of service and how we communicate with our customers reflects the culture we’ve created here.”

Steve Wakefield, Chilli Banana


Giving Something Back to the Customers

The open kitchen on the ground floor of Chilli Banana is sending out delicious starters and small portions of Massaman Curry, both meat and vegetarian options. The food is stunning, from crisp spring rolls and sweetcorn cakes to the powerful, spicy flavour explosion of tuna sashimi.

Appreciative and loyal customers are enjoying the food and complementary drinks, some of them having travelled a fair distance to get here.

Many of these 300 or so visitors are long-standing followers of the restaurant, attending its opening party 20 years previously. Throughout its changes over the years, the restaurant has brought them along and kept their custom. It is a formidable display of customer loyalty.


The Value of Polite, Friendly & Attentive Service

The staff at the restaurant are a critical part of this success. Tam Doruelo is responsible for managing the restaurant. Together with his assistant Anna Krupinska, they have developed a rapport with many of the regular customers over a number of years – prompting them to return.

Anna’s polite attention to customer service is equally as important as the food, in bringing back these diners.

Steve and May understand what makes Chilli Banana work, and allows it to keep expanding – a fifth branch has opened.  They value the strong ties with their customers.


“Communication is a vital part of keeping customers satisfied, particularly how you listen to them, and how you reward their loyalty”

Steve Wakefield, Chilli Banana


On the evidence of this evening’s event, as a mark of the restaurant’s standing and the affection in which it is held, Chilli Banana’s continuing success seems to be assured.

Thomas Ridge
Head Writer, M3 Media Publishing


To experience Chilli Banana for yourself: