The key to giving great customer service is focus.
As a short, balding middle aged man I don’t expect wait staff to hang around to chat with me, but I don’t want to be ignored. Don’t feel sorry for me this doesn’t happen often, but when it does I make my voice heard to management. Likewise when a server shines I like to speak up as well. All too often people only speak up to complain about service.
I was in New York City this past week and it was cold and windy and snowing. Perhaps you saw the news. To take the chill off I stopped into Junior’s in Time Square for some Matzoh Ball Soup.
I sat at the counter bypassing the wait, ordered my soup and a Manhattan. Often these days with younger bartenders I have to explain how I like the drink prepared. I was pleasantly surprised when the twenty-something bartender, Asif, nodded with approval at my choice and asked me if like bitters? In a day where anything served in a cocktail glass in considered a martini it was refreshing to know the art of bar tending is not totally lost. Asif also stirred the dink instead of shaking the crap out of it. It was delicious! I was off to Sardi’s to meet some friends.
The following night I stopped back in to Junior’s for some of their World Famous Cheese Cake. Asif was there but with other customers. I order the cheesecake from another person behind the counter and added a hot chocolate with a shot of Hennessy VS. Asif walked by at this point and said, “What, no Manhattan?”
I can’t begin to tell you how many people sit at that counter on any given night or how many orders are taken. I might have been remembered or looked familiar but I wouldn’t have expected a bartender to remember what I ordered after only one visit. Although Asif didn’t “hang” with me (there were 2 very attractive women sitting next to me) he remembered what I had ordered because he was focused on his customers.
Saif is my SEE ™ (Service Exceeding Expectations) winner for the Month of February. Even if Junior’s didn’t have such great cheesecake I would go back. Below is a video I did for Junior’s in July of 2010.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Bacchus Mystery Theatre, Bacchus Productions, Customer Service, funny speaker, Pizza, Pizza Chronicles, SEE, Service Exceeding Expectations, The Buckhead Pizza Company on January 22, 2013|
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Someone had dropped the ball, but Daniel scooped it up and saved the day with laser-like focus on my needs.
People + Pizza = Good Times
I’d planned a get together to celebrate 20 years of producing interactive mysteries in Atlanta. The event was to take place following the last murder mystery Bacchus Productions was producing. I invited over 30 people to attend the late night party and had booked a private room. Or so I thought.
When I arrived at the Buckhead Pizza Company, several cast members from days gone by were already there catching up at the bar. I asked the bartender about the private room and she contacted the manager. There was a problem. A group of 15 people were still using that room. Daniel, the general manager, told me they were expecting us but I wasn’t in the books for the private room. I do not take bad news well and started to fume.
Smelling smoke, Daniel focused on the problem and jumped into action. There was an outside space (covered and heated as it was mid-December) that would hold up to 60 people. It would give us more room and would actually be better for us. If I’d give him 10 minutes he would set the space and crank up the heaters. My expectations were not high but what could I do?
Daniel, Fibi our server and several other staff members went about setting the room. I had a double Oban (14 yr old single malt) while cast members calmed me down .
Within 10 minutes the space was ready for us and our group that was growing moved into the back space.
A shout out to Daniel Bridges, Fibi and the other staff members of the Buckhead Pizza Company who tuned what could have been a disaster (in my head) into an amazing night that I will remember for years to come. Daniel is my SEE™ (Service Exceeding Expectations) Winner for the month of December.
20 years of producing mysteries in Atlanta – A partial representation of cast members.
There is not a better place to get together with a large group of friends and family than a good pizzeria serving cold beer (or in my case Oban single malt scotch)
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Food Isn’t Everything
If a restaurant has mediocre food but great customer service I will return. If you’ve read my earlier posts or saw my video on The Classic Martini, you know I’m a little old fashion. Today I was once again reminded of how old I’m getting. Do you know how to make a Perfect Rob Roy. Most people, including bartenders don’t. A close friend of mine passed away last week and he would occasionally order a perfect Rob Roy. I’m not sure if he really liked the drink or would order it just to see the blank expression on the face of the person taking the order. So for the last week I’ve been ordering the drink to honor his memory. Turns out I like it. Here’s the recipe:
In a cocktail shaker add ice and
2 ounces Scotch
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
2 dashes of bitters
Stir and strain into a cocktail glass or over ice and garnish with a lemon peel.
I stopped into a pizza place that had a bar and thought I’d get a pizza and a perfect Rob Roy. I didn’t really expect the bartender to known what a perfect Rob Roy was but I ordered one expecting to explain how to make it. What I didn’t expect was for the bar not to stock dry vermouth. “You don’t make martinis?” “Sure,” says the bartender, “but no one asks for vermouth. We have sweet vermouth.” I ordered a beer and a pizza to go.
Just as I was thinking that I’d never returned to this place the bartender returned and asked me to explain once again how to make the perfect Rob Roy. He had gone to the bar next door and had returned with some dry vermouth in a rocks glass. Now THAT’S customer service. I doubt if this one location pizza joint had extensive training but this kind of service is exceptional and is not easily taught. It comes from within. It was part of this bartender’s upbringing. Kudos to the person who had the good sense to recognize this person’s willingness to go the extra mile.
Ethan is my SEE™ (Service Exceeding Expectations) Winner for the month of September. Thank you Ethan, thank you for making my day. And I’ll be back for mediocre pizza and great service.
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