Francis Pass is my client and my friend. He is also on the Mt. Rushmore of storytellers. We got to talking about shareworthy service the other day, and I was able to record – and have transcribed – his story of a recent legendarily magnificently delightful dinner he shared with his wife Patricia and a young man named Jake.Take it away, Francis:
Patricia and I were in Sarasota, Florida. We saw the sign for Carrabba’s. We had been seeing the advertisements on national TV and never been to a Carrabba’s.
So we went to Carrabba’s and we got this young man named Jake.
Right off the bat the hostess seats you and then Jake comes over and he introduced himself as all waiters say: “I’m Jake and I’m going to be taking care of you.” Jake went above and beyond that.
He extended his hand out to me and said, “And you are?” And I said I was Francis.
“And this is your lovely date?” And so Patricia then extended her hand because he knew the proper etiquette – only shake a ladies hand when she extends it. So she shook his hand.
“And your last name?” Pass, I said.
“Francis and Patricia Pass,” he said. “Well, I’m Jake. I’m going to be taking care of you this evening. Have you ever been here with us before?”
No, as a matter of fact, Jake, this is our first time ever to go to a Carrabba’s. “Wow. Okay,” he said. “I want this to be a fantastic event for you, and I’m going to make sure that you have a wonderful experience. I’ll do everything I can to do that for you. Would you like something from the bar?” Patricia and I said we wanted wine.
Jake said, “Do you know what you might like?”
And I said to Jake, “I haven’t even looked at your wine list.” Jake said, “I’m going to go get your water, and I’ll be back out.”
So when he came back I showed him what I thought. He said it was an excellent choice. He disappears and he brings back this beautiful, blonde-headed girl. And he brings her over to our table, literally, and says “Francis, Patricia, this is Sheila. She’s an outstanding wine glass server. She’s brought your glasses for this evening and then she’ll be bringing back the wine, and I just wanted you to meet this young lady.”
Then he turned to her and says “Sheila, this is Francis and Patricia Pass and this is their first time here, but it’s also their first time ever at a Carrabba’s. We want to make this a special event for them.”
Of course she was grinning from ear to ear. Well, she gives us our glasses then the wine comes and they’re gently poured. They start off with Patricia first and then pour mine.
Then, during the course there’s this young lady going around to all the tables with this little roller vacuum. Jake gets her by the arm and brings her over and says “Lisa, I’d like to introduce you to Francis and Patricia Pass. Lisa is our most fantastic floor cleaner.” Then he made absolutely certain that she was aware this was a first-time event.
This was when I began to kind of look at the people around us. The table to the left, table to the right, and every time Jake would show up they’d now stop what they were doing and they’d look and they’d listen. He’s not taking care of their tables, okay? And I could tell by expressions, they were like ‘what the heck’s going on? Who are these people?’ You know what I mean?
The whole evening went that way, and when he brought my meal out, he brought out this other little bowl. I had not ordered soup because I had the salad. Jake says “you know, Francis, the dish that you ordered is made with a champagne cream sauce. It’s excellent, but it is more on the bland side,” and he said “I can tell from the wine you ordered, and the salad you had that it might be just a little too bland, so I brought this sauce so that, if it’s too bland, spoon a little on it.” He says “Patricia, you might like this also because it’s more like your sauce. But if you want more… ”
And I did want more! It was a great recommendation. The whole event was just – it was the best legendary restaurant service we’ve ever received anywhere.
After dinner I asked Jake if he had ever considered a position in sales? And he said “you know, I’ve been told that before.”
I gave him my business card, and I told him if he ever made it to Illinois to come see me, and I will create a position for him – period!
And then I told Jake I wanted to recommend him to our franchise – One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning – right there in Sarasota.
And Jake said, “That’d be fantastic. I’m 28 years old, and I need to get a real job.”
It was the most unbelievable service I’ve ever had in my life. I think our bill was $87. I gave him a $35 tip.
Multiply that times ten tables a night, five nights a week. Heck, ole’ Jake might be taking a pay cut going to work for One Hour. : )
And to think – Jake wasn’t there one minute longer than any other server working that night. He didn’t have any special tools that any other server couldn’t have used as well. He just chose to have more fun and be more interested in and interesting to his tables. And he made 40% while others, no doubt, whined and complained and wondered why Jake was so lucky getting all the good tippers while they got their measly 10-20%.
How about you? Do you remember your last legendary customer service experience?
New eBook Coming Next Week
Your Customer Likes This – How To Deliver Shareworthy Service … I’ve got about 15,000 words – way more than I have had time to post here – collected in stories, emails, lessons and ways to implement a shareworthy service program in your organization. I’m turning it into a nice eBook with some worksheets. I was originally going to give it away for free, but my wife and I talked about it. We’ll make it available next week to download for a donation of any amount (starting at $0.99) to Touchpoint Autism Services – the organization that first taught us to communicate with our son. We can never fully repay them, but this’ll be a little way to try to start. Stay tuned …