Yesterday I was helping this elderly woman find a rice cooker. Everyone always thinks they need a huge rice cooker and it drives me crazy. The rice cooker we carry is for 4 cups of pre-cooked rice. When I was working at a lunch restaurant in Hawaii, I would not have called that a lot of rice, but now, here, looking at appliances for single, elderly women, I can say that is a lot of rice.
Eventually I shut up about the size because her statements about the best capacity for a rice cooker were moot. We moved onto features! "So how does this work?" she asked. "Well," I said, beautifully camouflaging my disdain for having to explain the simple steps of adding rice, water, and pushing a button, "You add the rice, the water, place the lid on top, and push the button. If the appliance is plugged in, a light will come on and another light will indicate when the rice is finished." "What about chicken?" she asked. "Does it tell how to steam chicken in the recipe book?"
Ah, yes. The recipe book! Most of the appliances come with a "recipe book" which is merely an addendum to the instructions, but the perceived value to the customer is huge! I don't know how many times the "recipe book" has been the factor in closing a sale. No matter that it is 1 millimeter thick and is probably going to be lost as soon as the customer opens the box; the recipe book has all the recipes and secrets for simplifying your life! With the appliance, some basic ingredients, and the recipe book, you will finally be able to serve simple home-cooked meals that will wow your family and friends! Thanks to the recipe book you can finally make Curry Rice & Chicken, Asparagus & Sesame Rice, and Balsamic Vinaigrette! Kitchen mysteries will be revealed in the recipe book!
All in all, it is a happy tale. We made a sale and the customer will go home and hopefully have success with her steamed chicken and huge quantities of rice.