By Steve Moran

I am always really intrigued by people and companies that do cheeky promotion no one else would dare to do about themselves — and the “themselves” is very, very important — as exemplified by the menu of Aunt Dai, a Chinese restaurant in Montreal, 

I recently saw an article about “Aunt Dai” and its crazy menu.

Here are just a couple of examples (all of these are copied directly from their online menu, including any typos):

Cumin Beef (Zī Rán Niú Ròu )

Owner’s words:

little little bit spicy, more flavor of cumin, very tasty. We used to have the beef pieces on small sticks but several customers cut their lips by it thinking it was some hard ingredient (They must have watches some shows about weird Chinese food). To avoid incidents like this, no more sticks. Some good infusion from the overly fried onion slices (which you can eat).

definitely recommend this.

Mouth-watering chicken (kǒu shuǐ jī )

Owner’s words:

Again, this dish is very well-known and we are not 100% satisfied with the flavor now and it will get better really soon.

PS: I am surprised that some customers still order this plate. In my opinion, our Sichuan Pepper Chicken Salad is better than this one.

Braised pork belly with sweet potato noodles (Hóng Shāo Ròu Dùn Fěn Tiáo)

Owner’s words:

This is a very popular dish among the customers who don’t care its greasiness. The flavor is really rich and perfectly balanced. You almost want to sniff the tasty hot air above this beautiful dish.

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What Senior Living Can Learn from This

First, pulling something like this off during the COVID-19 might not be the right thing to try.

BUT, what I like about this is, perhaps more than anything else, it makes them stand out as being different, more interesting, and worthy of exploring above and beyond the other, maybe 300 or 1,000 Chinese restaurants in greater Montreal.

Imagine writing on your website copy like this:

“Our residents call us home, but if I am honest it does not feel quite like home to me, but residents and their families really seem to like it.”

“We call it 4-star dining, and it is so good that after a while residents start having to watch their weight, but I get a little wiggly when people call it 4-star. I think maybe we are more of a 3 and a half star dining experience.”

One more:

“Residents say they love all the activities, that they are having more fun than when they were in High School. I am not really so sure that is a compliment. I don’t remember high school as being that great, and besides, for them, high school was a long, long time ago.”

Am I Nuts?

I can see you shaking your head thinking I am nuts. And I am sure, some people would find this a turnoff. But I suspect most people would find it fun and refreshing. A place that takes their work seriously but does not take themselves too seriously. Perhaps most important of all, it sends a message that even though we are really great there is room to get better.

What do you think?

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