Dress Code or Service? Chipotle wins, too!


As a follow-up to my post about Radio Shack, I also have a story to spin about a recent trip Linda and I took to Chipotle.  My friend Scott Brown also had a great experience there, so this account shows the consistency of service that is sometimes lost on organizations with many locations spread all over the place (Scott lives in Ohio, I’m in Florida).

Linda and I first tried Chipotle when we were dating.  She hated it.  There was nothing good about it, so when considering dining options in the future, I never brought it up (even though my friend Ryan will tell you that I think they have the best flippin’ tacos ever!)

So, last Saturday we were out and about.  Out of the blue we decide to give Chipotle a try.  We were greeted by a long, but fast-moving line, and then we met the employee that knocked our service socks off.  He wasn’t wearing a nametag, but had a distinctive feature that was hard to forget.

We’re not talking about the barbed wire – it was a nose ring.  Like in my Radio Shack encounter, I could have expected less than stellar attention from this young man, based on judgments of his appearance.  Instead, he was efficient, polite, driven, hygienic (changing gloves for every order) and accommodating to his guests.  The two women before us had difficulty understanding his questions, so at first he helped by pointing to and standing in front of the item he was asking them about.  When that failed, he noticed they spoke Spanish, so he jumped in with some Spanish of his own.  The line kept moving.

We also noticed that this employee had some pretty extensive ink on his legs.  It looked like a picture was started on one leg and continued on the other.  From an artistic standpoint, a work of art.  From an employment standpoint, a typical no-no.

Linda LOVED her meal this time!  As much as we regaled in the outstanding eats, we also spent a good portion of the meal stating how we would come back here for the service, as much as the food.

If I were to compare the Radio Shack experience and the Chipotle experience, I would say that most likely, the management teams have decided that hiring the right people, regardless of outward appearances, is the way to go.

I also think from an employee standpoint, they probably feel like they can be more “themselves” at work because they are not being asked to change or cover-up who they are.  This makes them more likely to be the shining star you met during the interview. Just thought about that angle last night while chatting with a friend.  Might be something to that.

What sort of service experiences have YOU had recently?  What does it say about the leadership of that company? Let us know!

Thanks for reading!

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