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Chris LoCurto

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March 20, 2012

Outstanding Customer Service From A Restaurant!

March 20, 2012 | By | 38 Comments">38 Comments

Customer service is one of my biggest topics here because it effects everyone! Good or bad, I believe we can ALL learn from how we are treated as we go through our lives interacting with each other.

Last week was one of my favorite weeks of customer service ever. I headed out Sunday to Orlando Florida with the Momentum team. We set up for our event and then went back to our hotel where we received what I call…happy advice.

We asked if there was a good place to eat, which is always a tricky question on the road, and the front desk dude recommended Caffe Positano on Semoran Boulevard in Apopka. Now, going to an Italian restaurant is difficult for me because I’m Sicilian. Which instantly makes me picky.

Let me say…THANK YOU FRONT DESK DUDE!! We walked in the door and were greeted by Louie, who was incredibly nice and courteous. He sat our group of seven down in the dinning room and made sure we knew that if we needed anything to let him know. Through out the evening Louie would come by to make sure we were having a great time. Great guy!

Jesse was our waiter, and homeboy new his stuff. He rattled off a list of specials that had everyone at the table salivating in seconds. I was in the mood for Carbonara, but there wasn’t any on the menu. I asked if they had it, and Jesse said, sure, we can make that for you. Add star numero uno to my rating!

Then Jesse brought out this garlic/parmesean/balsamic/kitchen sink dipping oil, and fresh hot rolls. He told us that we would take our dinners home once we started in on this stuff. Suuuuure we would Jesse. Three rolls each later, all seven of us guys were worried. When the dinners hit the table, there was a collective laugh, as well as many of us say, you gotta be kidding!

You see, each dinner could feed a small third world country. My Carbonara looked like a mountain of pasta the size of my head. A few of the boys got the ribeye’s, and they were the biggest I’ve EVER seen. I kid you not, they had to put them on big plates because the steaks were already the size of a dinner plate.

And taste? Dio in Cielo!!! While we were all beyond stuffed, poor Dave Nelson was in a meat comma at the end of the table. And it didn’t stop there. Louie came back around to check on us. I told that everything was so amazing, that we would probably come back Thursday. He then told us that if we would, he would buy us dessert tonight.

Seriously?!?! We don’t have room for air right now. That’s when he brought out the house made cannolis and a chocolate souffle with ice cream. Apparently, we had room. Best cannoli I have ever tasted! The whole process made us feel like we were actually dinning in Italy. Amazing staff, incredible food, best customer service of any restaurant I’ve been to.

And this was just the FIRST night! Tomorrow I will share with you why the newest team member has been there for eight years. Yes, EIGHT YEARS!! He’s the rookie!! It all has to do with the leadership.

Question: Do you think this type of service creates a loyal customer base, and have you ever been treated this way?

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  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Yup! That’s the mojo spirit. I am sure that they will win the hearts of the customers and make their restaurant experience memorable forever.

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

    The answer to your question is yes, yes, yes, yes! WOW! And imagine the testimonials like yours which must run rampant around this restaurant.

    I have had this type of service – and it totally WOW’d me – something we can all look at as a model for our own businesses.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      They have people that return 3 times a week!!!!

  • http://www.medicalaccountsolutions.com Misty Gilbert

    Man Chris, you are making me hungry!!! ;)

    It is not often to get treated in such manner, but I can relate. I visit an Italian Restaurant (Roma’s) near a clients office that I visit weekly when I am out of town…not just because their food is delicious, though it is incredible! The service is top notch in this Podunk town. They are kind, friendly, make sure I have everything I need, and smile so big when they see me. They know I am from out of town and they will come and sit in the booth with me and ask me how my day went, how is business, etc. They are sweet, very sweet! I am eager to give them my money in exchange for being treated like a queen!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Even if you don’t like people, which is crazy, if you get this principle, you can be successful. Don’t you think?

      • http://www.medicalaccountsolutions.com Misty Gilbert

        Yes, Chris!!! Absolutely. People want to do business (and even have friendships) with people they know they like and trust. It boils down to how you show love. That’s the principal that makes success. Love the thought in your comment.

  • cabinart

    Whoa, almost slobbered on my laptop. I’m surprised you could even get a table in a place that good!

    Have you ever been somewhere that has great service and awful food? Wow, that is so awkward.

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

      Ha! I was hungry when I got through reading!

  • http://twitter.com/hollyhall22 Holly Hall

    Now I’m hungry!! Inspiring post, Chris. Such a good reminder to us all, no matter what we’re serving.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Thanks Holly!!!

  • Sondrahopkins

    shared this with my entire staff! Thanks for the reminder!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Sondra!! What’s shakin’? So good to see you on here. I’m glad you shared that with your staff. What was their response?

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

    Hmmm…. I see a recurring topic with food here. Maybe food critic is your alternative career choice… It’s not quite 9 AM and I’m enjoying a packet of instant oatmeal at my desk. So I really want to read about a delicious melt-in-your-mouth bowl of carbonara… Good grief! LOL! And top it off with cannoli and chocolate soufflé… I just gained 5 lbs reading the post!

    Seriously, I think the reason why good restaurant customer service is so powerful is because we are looking for the total experience. We share a meal with people we love or we want to connect with. A well prepared meal is a treat to the senses and to the soul.

    Preparing quality food with great care is a gift of time and an act of service. Great service and great meals will absolutely have people coming back and spreading the word!

    We can learn a lot from Louie and Jesse: make people feel very important and taken care of, give them our full undivided attention and deliver outstanding service.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      BAH!!!! I love your opening paragraph!! I should be a food critic shouldn’t I? I bet I could eat for free. :-)

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    Thanks for making me hungry for ribeyes and Italian.
    I wonder though how you would feel if the food had been just as great and the customer service had been poor. It shows you the power that occurs when you get both of them right.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I wouldn’t have returned. Anyone…well, lots of folks can make great food, you have to BE great when it comes to customer service.

  • TroyD

    Are you trying to tell me that Ramsey doesn’t have you on “Beans & Rice” when you travel? Oh, maybe that’s because you guys have “Done business like no one else, so you can do business like no one else”. Looking forward to your follow up tomorrow!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      HAHAHA….yeah, we used to do the beans and rice thing when we were building this company. Now, we eat better. :-)

      • TroyD

        This could be a new product for DaveRamsey.com! Everyone in Financial Peace University could subscribe to your “Food Picture Page” so we have food to look at while we eat our beans & rice, rice & beans. The picture of the hamburger from Burger Up isn’t tricking my brain any longer, if you could get a picture of the Carbonara that would be great. Oh, and I think I’m hungry for some fajita’s next week!!

        • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

          BAH!!!!! That’s a great idea!!

    • http://www.medicalaccountsolutions.com Misty Gilbert

      Luv’d your comment Troy! G reat humor.

  • Shannonm

    The next time we head up to Orlando we definately have to look up this place! It sounds greats!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Please be sure to let me know what you think.

  • Kim Little

    My son is a server. I constantly tell him what I tell myself when it comes to customer service. Find the one thing that you really enjoy when serving your customers, and go all out and become the ROCK STAR doing it! Everything else, just do it really good……people don’t want to pay for mediocrity!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      It’s crazy how much your attitude will be reflected in your patrons. If I’m in a bad mood, but I have a server on cloud 9, my mood changes for the better. Great advice Kim!

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

      Kim – LOVE what you say about being a ROCK STAR at what you do -and right on – people do NOT pay for mediocrity.

      • http://www.medicalaccountsolutions.com Misty Gilbert

        We sometimes have to pay for it, but we don’t like to! I love Kim’s thought about finding ONE thing you enjoy and being a ROCK STAR or in my terms strive for EXCELLENT at it. If you don’t, you risk just be mediocre.

  • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

    It’s impossible NOT to have a customer base with this kind of service. Makes me want to take the 3 hour drive again!

    My commute to work is 60 miles each way, Monday through Friday. As a New Yorker, I’ve spent my 7 years here in Florida searching for pizza that, at best, is the pizza I wouldn’t eat in New York! I have found only one place with outstanding pizza, and it is a block from my job, in Clearwater.

    So, I bring home pizza from there, on average of twice a month. We’ve got the drill down. I call my wife when I’m 20 miles from home, and she preheats the oven. Sometimes, there’s still 8 slices when I get there, sometimes there isn’t!

    But, every time I go into Bro’s Pizza, I am greeted by everyone behind the counter. Whoever I go into their establishment with laughs, because I live so far away, yet none of the locals are greeted as enthusiastically as I am. “Hey, Scott! How you doin,’ mayn!” (Did I mention they are from Italy, relocated from New Jersey?)

    I joke that I drive the furthest than any other customer they have! I call in my orders as “Scott from Sarasota”.
    But, as good as the pizza is, I would not go back if their attitudes were poor, or their service was lacking.

    What are the common denominators in both restaurants?
    Passion. A belief in their product. And a little bit o’ fresh mozzarella!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Amen Scott!!! Now I want that pizza!!!

  • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ Joel Fortner

    “Do you think this type of service creates a loyal customer base?” No, I think incredible service and amazing food makes people want to go to McDonald’s to eat crappy food and be served by unhappy people. Or maybe not.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Nice!!

    • Geoff Allen

      Point taken, but McDonald’s has other things going for it, or it wouldn’t be successful. What you get at McDonald’s is predictable food, served quickly, for a cheap price.

      And if you have a four-year-old, just try convincing them that the food at the fancy restaurant is better than a Happy Meal. :-)

      • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

        That’s not easily done. I can’t convince some adults that fancy food is better. :-)

    • http://www.medicalaccountsolutions.com Misty Gilbert

      Oh No Joel, I am not hungry anymore. LOL! You crack me up.

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

      I thought the same thing but didn’t say it, Joel! You are a HOOT!

  • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

    Good stuff Chris. I love hearing about you and your team behind the scenes, even if it’s about a trip to a restaurant. THere seems to be a theme in your writing about customer service. Is that just a bedrock part of the Ramsey experience or does your job with Ramsey include some specific customer service happiness responsibility? Have a great time in Orlando!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      It is something we focus heavily on here, but it’s one of my core beliefs since I started work as a kid. No customers, no job.

  • http://www.facebook.com/reasondisciple Apostle Ricardo Butler

    I’ve lived here all my life and have never heard of this place. Maybe for my 6 year anniversary me and my wife might check this place out!

    I had a lady at Red Lobster out here in Orlando who was the BOMB! She was so good that when we took family pictures at our table we invited her into the pictures!

    Thanks for the heads up.