January 26, 2010

Thanks for Raising the Bar, Louie

Tonight I had great service and it's important to me that I tell someone about it.

When you spend much of your time each day helping people understand the impact that providing "truly remarkable service" may have on their customers, clients and communities, it's no wonder that when you are the one receiving that same level of service, it makes a difference.

I love it when I get great service. I love the impact it has on my attitude. I love the way I remember the experience, the people who deliver it and the location where it happened. And I also appreciate the experience for things I can learn from it so I can share the lessons with those I teach.

Tonight I took my daughter, Riley, to the Columbus Blue Jackets game. Riley loves to go to hockey games with me so as a birthday present to Riley (she turns 11 today - January 27th) she was allowed to bring two of her classmates with us. We went down to the Arena District early and grabbed a table at one of Riley's favorite restaurants - Bar Louie.

It was the last table available on a very busy night. It was on a separate level from the main floor, almost like a private sky box for just us but as a former waiter, it was clearly "out of the way" of the rest of the tables and up two short flights of stairs. Three "tweener girls" and a gray-haired gen Xer. I'm sure "huge ticket table" never crossed the lips of any of the wait staff when they saw us seat ourselves.

No worries though, because Leslie was our server.

Leslie was helpful, friendly, attentive and outgoing. The manager on duty, Rich, clearly was a believer in the "lead by example" mantra because he went out of his way to make us feel welcomed as well. He even went to the upstairs office to make additional copies of the kids menus for the girls.

In addition to Leslie and Rich, the rest of the Bar Louie team demonstrated that they were just that - part of a team. One server brought our appetizers (soft pretzels and chips and salsa), one server refilled our drinks, another cleared our dirty plates. And all throughout the evening, there was Leslie; Always making sure we were happy, always making the sure the girls had what they needed, always doing everything she could to make sure that our experience at Bar Louie tonight was a positive experience.

After a great meal, there was a slight mix up on our bill but when it was brought to Leslie's attention, there was no blame, no argument, no hesitation. She not only did what it took to make things right, she did more. Leslie topped off our visit when she delivered desserts for the girls. Talk about under promising and over delivering!

So to Leslie, Rich and all the Bar Louie Arena District team - Thanks for the start to a great night. Thanks for providing a shining example of "truly remarkable service" in action. We'll be back.

P.S. Thanks to Steve Mason and his Blue Jackets teammates, who also helped make it a great end to the night, as they held off the Nashville Predators to secure the win, 3-2. Carry the Flag, CBJ!