Happy Employees Make Happy Customers at the Blue Ribbon Restaurant


My good friend and colleague Dale and I decided to have our meeting over dinner at the Blue Ribbon Restaurant this past week.  It was crowded as usual, and we were happy to score one of the last remaining booths near the counter.

Our server Jenny was Juanita-on-the-spot with menus and ice water, without prompting from us.  She kept checking on us, taking our orders quickly and following up to see if we had enjoyed our dinners.  She even encouraged me to try one of the Blue Ribbon’s great sugar-free desserts.  Jenny smiled, bounced and beamed as she multi-tasked taking care of all of the customers in her section, including us.

Intensely committed to providing great service to my customers, whether they have been internal to my organization or external customers, I love when I experience great customer service myself.  Jenny’s diamond demeanor was infectious, and she energized me even at the end of a long and very busy day of business meetings.

When Dale and I worked together at the same company, we’d have our business cards poised to recruit talent like Jenny to work in our stores; it was a no-brainer.

I had no job for Jenny that night, but I had a question.  “Hi, I’m Deb,” I said, introducing myself as Jenny brought us both take-out containers and bags to carry them in without a second request (Great service, I told you!).  “You do a great job, what’s your name?”  “Jenny,” she replied, beaming even more if that were possible.  “Thank you.”  I asked her another question.  “Jenny, you seem really happy.  What makes you happy to work here?”  Jenny answered without missing a beat.  “The family who owns this restaurant treats me so well.  They’re respectful, they care about me, and they trust me.  At past jobs, I’ve been yelled at and micro-managed.  Not here.”  I loved Jenny’s answer.  “How long have you worked here?”  I asked, my last question.  “Two years,” Jenny replied.  “And I love it here.”  That was crystal-clear.

As Dale paid the bill at the cash register, I couldn’t resist.  “Are you one of the owners?” I asked the young man at the register.  “I’m the son and nephew of the owners,” he replied, smiling slightly.  “You might say I’m an owner-in-training.”  I smiled back.  “I just wanted to let you know that our server, Jenny, is great.”  He smiled wider, glancing at her bustling around the customers in her coverage area, and without missing a beat as he handed Dale his change, replied:  “Yes, she is great.  We’re lucky to have Jenny.”

We were all lucky that night, because at the Blue Ribbon Restaurant, they clearly know that happy employees make happy customers.

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