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Chris LoCurto


March 21, 2012

Outstanding Customer Service From A Restaurant! – Part Two

March 21, 2012 | By | 57 Comments">57 Comments

In Outstanding Customer Service From A Restaurant! I discussed the incredible service we received at Caffe Positano on Semoran Boulevard in Apopka Florida in the Orlando area.

Because we were treated like kings on Sunday, we returned Thursday with a larger group. We had our same amazing server, and this time we got to meet the owner, Pasquale. He was an amazing man from the actual city of Positano, Italy. And while we had the same incredible food and service, this night we got to know them a little more.

As the truckloads of food started coming, I commented to our server Jesse that it must be an incredible place to work. That’s when he dropped the first of a couple of bombs on us. He told us that he was the new guy and that he’s only been there eight years. What?! Not only that, but some of the staff has been with them for 24 years. GET OUT!!! In a restaurant?! How can this be?!

The folks that have been with them for 24 years actually followed them from New York, when they moved to Florida 17 years ago. It gets better. I said that Pasquale must be phenomenal to work for. That’s when bomb numero due dropped. Jesse was in a really bad car accident years ago. Due to the lawsuit, he couldn’t buy the house that he was wanting to get into because he couldn’t get a loan with everything up in the air. (Insert my take on loans.)

Somehow Pasquale found out, called him into his office, and wrote him an $8,000.00 check, so he could get in. AND he furnished the place, no questions asked. Do you think that creates a loyal team member? The third bomb really wasn’t a bomb, it just made sense. Jesse then told us that he has three degrees and could care less about working in any of those fields. Why would he?

Instead, he works three nights a week at an incredible job, makes amazing money due to the immense amount of repeat customers, and has leadership that takes care of him like this. We experienced the customer service coming from how amazing the working environment was.

Guess who came back Friday night. Yep, you guessed it, with an even bigger group! This time we brought 13 of our folks. Problem was, we had to be taken out with a dump truck. AGAIN the food was amazing, but Pasquale pulled out all the stops this time. Here is a list of the foods he brought us:

  • Hot rolls and out of this world dipping oil
  • Salads
  • Our main dishes – mine was penne with shrimp in a lobster bisque sauce AHHHHH!!!!!

We had already planned on the best cannolis on the planet, but Pasquale brought out a tray of amazingness before with:

  • Homemade strawberry danish
  • Incredible chocolate mousse
  • Some crazy good things with chocolate on them
  • and cannoli cream to go on all of them

If that wasn’t enough, he then brought out:

  • Coffee
  • Cannolis
  • Chocolate souffle

Whew! Surely we’re done. Nope! Jesse walks by with an antipasto plate and asks if we would like to try they’re handmade stretched mozzarella. Now you would think there’s no way we would even want to try that. Wrong. It was the best mozzarella I’ve ever had!!! How can this be?! I told Jesse that he had to cut us off. Apparently that didn’t make it to Pasquale, who showed up with another tray of:

  • Italian cheesecake
  • Tiramisu
  • Orange ricotta sponge cake

This is where the dump trucks just rolled right up to our tables and took us back to the hotel. Folks, is there any question as to why we went there three nights in one week? Is there any question as to why the staff has been there so long? And is there any question as to why they have the repeat clientele that they do? With customer service like this, you get the results that they do.

Question: If you’re ever in the Orlando area, will you be eating at Caffe Pasitano? 

  • JoseReneBerrios

    yes i will !

  • custom desk name plates

    Some of the restaurants have these type of service for the customer so that customer always be happy and visit the restaurant every time they visit the city.

  • Uma Maheswaran S

    Chris! I love to be there at Cafe Pasitano. It”a always a mesmerising experience to have food at such restaurants. We find very few such customer centric food outlets in India.

  • skottydog

    Wow! Makes me wish we had dinner together, instead of lunch! ha-ha!
    I will have to get back there very soon! Maybe next time, I’ll choose a better travel plan than to take I-4 during rush hour, on a Friday, during spring break!

    • Chris LoCurto

      Dude! You would have loved it!!

  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    One more thing – the owner should write a book on how he does it. Like Jack Mitchell’s “Hug Your Customers” ….

    • Joel Fortner

      Agreed! And it should have lots of pictures. Of food. Italian food. Maybe it should be a pop-up book! Or scratch ‘n sniff!!!

      • Chris LoCurto

        BAH!!!! Scratch ‘n sniff is an awesome idea!!

        • Joel Fortner

          Pretty much the best idea I’ve ever had. I’ll retire now.

    • Chris LoCurto

      no doubt!!!

  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    Ok – now I’m mad. I gained three pounds just READING the post! And YES when in Orlando – this will be the place for me to go. Any restaurant that you can go to 3 times in one week – and receive excellent service each time? Wow is all I can say. And yes, I would want to replicate this in my business.

    One more thing – I love the CONSISTENCY they have in their service and the CULTURE they have created for the people who work there.

    • Chris LoCurto


  • cabinart

    I’ve never heard of a place this good, never worked for one, eaten there, or had friends eat or work there. Ever. Pasquale is needed in Central California.

    • Chris LoCurto

      We told him we needed him in Nashville, and he said he had considered. We’re gonna keep bothering him. :-)

      • Joel Fortner

        Or Alexandria, VA. But whatever.

  • Loren Pinilis

    Alright seriously – do you have to go into such detail on the food? My mouth is watering :)
    I bet that place gets incredible word of mouth too. You know, I’d be interested in finding out their hiring practices. That seems to be the key for them.

    • Chris LoCurto

      HAHA…THEY DON’T HAVE TO HIRE!!! It’s crazy! How in the world do you have 8 years since your last hire?!?! Incredible.

  • Jason Morales

    I had the pleasure of eating with Chris at Cafe Pasitano all three nights and his description doesn’t do the place, food or the people justice. Amazing all the way. All I can say is “Leave the body, take the Cannoli…” The best part was it felt like eating with family. And Pasquale was having a ball showering us with food and conversation. Jesse our server did a great job from beginning to end. When we told him we were thinking about coming back later in the week he gave me his cell number and told me to text him when and how many were coming and he would have everything ready for us. That is above and beyond the call of duty. It will be a restaurant that I will remember for the rest of my life.

    • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

      I think it is incredible to have any experience with a business that you can say “….I will remember for the rest of my life…” and especially a restaurant. Incredible

    • Chris LoCurto

      Preach it brother!!!

  • Wes

    That makes my mouth water just reading it. That is what it’s about. Creating something that makes people go wow!!

  • Shawn Lewis

    If there’s one thing I love, it’s food. You’ve convinced me that if I’m ever in Orlando, I must try this place. Heck, I might need to make a special trip out there someday – and I’m from Pennsylvania!

    • Chris LoCurto

      It’s worth the trip!!!

  • Holly Hall

    I’d love to see a guest blog post from Pasquale! :) I wonder where he learned these exceptional leadership skills. What a great story!

    • skottydog

      Hopefully, during his guest post, he would mention that he is opening a second location in Sarasota!

    • Chris LoCurto

      I really think it’s an Italian cultural way. They love taking care of people over there. We should take notice. :-)

  • Jim Woods

    I just got a little fatter reading that post. Yum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Chris LoCurto

      HAHAHA…yeah, I gained 4 pounds that week. :-)

    • Chris LoCurto

      HAHAHA…yeah, I gained 4 pounds that week. :-)

  • Daniel

    Great story about loyalty! that’s amazing to hear. But I have a question: do you think you and your team were treated so well because you are famous or ar affilated with Dave Ramsey? I mean, who could afford negative pulicity these days? Just askin’

    • Chris LoCurto

      They didn’t know who we were until later on!!

  • Lily Kreitinger

    Maybe you should have a TV show on Food Network “Eat your way through the USA”. I don’t think Weight Watchers will sponsor you, though.

    What a great story of treating people like royalty! Both customers and team members! I would be like Jesse and not look for work anywhere else.

    New item on the bucket list: Have dinner at Caffe Positano :)

  • Andy Traub

    Yes. And it will be with you and you’ll pick up the check because you’re just that kind of guy. Great post Chris.

    • Chris LoCurto

      You know I will!!

  • Kim Little

    Great….now I’m booking a flight to Orlando…soon…..thanks alot. :)

    • Chris LoCurto


  • tbric

    Amazing. It’s no wonder why they have repeat business. With employee loyalty, customer service, and a great leader, this is what happens!

    • Chris LoCurto

      Amen! How’s that baby?!

      • tbric

        Doing well health wise. Doesn’t seem to want Mom & Dad to sleep! Thanks for asking.

  • Aaron Nelson

    What a great story Chris! I want to pack my bags, hop in my car, and drive all the way there to try this place out! Wow!

    What a good example of how to build loyalty. So true – if you want loyalty then you best be giving it! If you want generous customers/clients – you best be being generous.

    This was a great story!
    Have a great Wednesday!

    • Chris LoCurto

      Thanks Aaron!!

  • TroyD

    Great story, I am picturing them rolling you guys out like 13 snowmen so they could lock the doors. Let’s not forget about the leader who brought his team to Caffe Positano to be treated like kings three times in one week.

    • Chris LoCurto

      Huh. I’ll take those props. :-)

  • Gary Mast

    I am leaving South Carolina now hope to be there in time for dinner tonight…LOL…This is very true, the culture internally of any family,business,church,or other organizations will always manifest itself on the front lines where the customer meets employee!! I enjoyed this story….

    • Chris LoCurto

      Thanks Gary. I enjoyed the process that made it a post! :-)

  • Bob

    That is an amazing story! It’s like it was custom made for Entreleadership. I can’t wait to share this with my sales team. One question though…has anyone had a chance to give props to the front desk dude?

    P.S. No plans to go to Orlando anytime soon, but when I do, you know I’m hittin’ this joint!

    • Chris LoCurto

      not in person, but I did in yesterday’s post. :-)

  • Marybeth Fortner

    Ummmm… you’re not RUNNING the half marathon are you? That’s okay, you can walk with me.

    • Chris LoCurto

      Oh girl, I’m walking with you!!! I’m way behind on my training. And I miss you!!

      • Marybeth Fortner

        YAY! Well – not yay that you’re behind in training and not yay that we never see each other anymore… but YAY – you’re walking with me… and my big belly. Well… it’s only kinda big right now.

        • tbric

          Congrats Marybeth!

  • Joel Fortner

    Dude! Perhaps we should swing by there before the half marathon. And yes I believe this place would be a fave if I lived in Orlando. Sounds absolutely amazing!

    • Bob

      Yikes! Half marathon and dump truck quantities of food = one sick run! ;) Maybe after the run? Good luck on the marathon!

      • Joel Fortner

        Already have the post-run meal set! It’s a gut buster, too.

        • Bob

          Nothing better than a run like that, a little gluttony (without the guilt), and a huge nap! Have fun!

          • Joel Fortner


    • Chris LoCurto

      hahaha…it’s a long way from Lynchburg!