Have you ever had something go TOO right? Weird, I know. But let me explain.
The other night, Linda and I had a lovely dinner at Tijuana Flats in Casselberry, FL. I got the ultimate beef nachos – completely smothered with all sorts of cheese, sour cream, shredded beef… but now I’m getting hungry. Let me get back to my story.
The reason this made the blog this week is the number of interactions we had with members of the Tijuana Flats staff on this particular visit. We counted 13. Thirteen separate interactions with at least 6 different employees – in less than 30 minutes.
If you haven’t been to Tijuana Flats, its not a full service restaurant where a host seats you, a server takes your order and the server and possibly an expediter brings the food to you. At TF’s, you order at the counter. When your food is ready they yell your name so the whole place can hear it and you bus your own tables. Typically not a lot of opportunity for staff interaction.
The reason I asked if something could be TOO right, is that we actually felt like 13 interactions in 30 minutes was a bit much. It was tough to converse with someone asking if we needed a refill on the water every 90 seconds.
Now, this is not a complaint, but an observation. When most managers are complaining about getting their employees to show up and do the minimum, these folks are gladly, willingly, going out of there way to make sure their customers are satisfied. Where does this come from?
I’ve been in this particular Tijuana Flats numerous times, and I think it comes down to one thing: the manager.
Every time I have been in there he is out in the dining room, interacting with customers and offering his service. He greets people when they come in, offers a cold drink while you are waiting to order, directs people to an open ordering station, explains the hot sauce bar, you name it – he is out there. Me being me, I also watched him while he wasn’t interacting with the customers. He was always moving, often talking to one the employees. He would quietly ask them to clean something, bring something to a customer, help another employee – and always with a please and a thank you.
There is probably more to his management strategy than what I’ve seen, and perhaps the next time I get a hankering for beef nachos I will ask him. Even if there isn’t, setting such a positive example for customer service sure is a great place to start!
Thanks for reading!