Friday, March 19, 2010

Being a restaurant regular: How Customer Service Can Turn You From One- Time Customer to Passionate Advocate

Cheers had it right. There's just something about going to a place where everybody knows your name. There are always so many new places to try, and more often than not, even restaurants we've been to a number of times don't know us from anyone. But for us, The Shed at Glenwood has become a regular haunt. And here's why - not only is the food good and prices reasonable, but they also greet us like old friends and seem genuinely glad we're there again. Cindy is always at the door with a smile, and hunky Chef Lance Gummere always takes time to say hello from the open kitchen.

Tonight, I must say they outdid themselves. We went because I was craving oysters (and they have $1 oysters every day), and since it was Veggie Night, I couldn't resist trying out their take on sunchokes, since mine were such a disaster earlier this week.

Of course their take on 'chokes were simply prepared and delicious, as was everything else on my veggie plate. Chef Lance even took a moment to give me some hints on how to make them next time - a little butter and oil until golden, then cover with chicken broth until the broth has evaporated. Easy peasy, right? But best of all, right before we left Cindy dropped off a mysterious brown paper bag at our table. I peeked inside to find a container of raw sunchokes with a note from Chef Lance, "give them another try." Now how's that for customer service?

Seriously, how great are these people? In a world, where sommeliers can be snotty (I'm looking at you Miller Union) and service often erratic or indifferent, I am consistently impressed by how much the folks at the Shed care and work to make it a great experience every time. My day job involves consulting to organizations and strengthening brands, and I can think of little you can do to win over customers for life that would be more impactful than showing genuine interest in their needs. If only more businesses, and restaurants specifically would realize that it just takes a little extra effort to make someone a passionate advocate for your business.

I'm looking forward to testing out the 'chokes again. Thanks Cindy and Lance and everyone else who makes us feel so welcome every time we come to the Shed! You know we'll be back soon!

Shed at Glenwood on Urbanspoon



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