December 16, 2013
I recently visited San Jose, California, to deliver training for the employees of Petrinovich, Pugh & Co. When my flight arrived, I was warmly greeted by Ann, the company’s human resource manager. She said, “I’d like to show you where tomorrow’s workshop will take place. It’s a restaurant with a large meeting room. That way you can view the facility and meet the owner to let her know about any set-up needs you may have.”
This seemed like a great idea, but quite honestly, I thought this restaurant would be similar to the hundreds of venues where I had conducted training in the past.Nothing could have been further from the truth. From the moment we stepped onto the outdoor patio I discovered that this was not your typical restaurant. The décor was lovely and the food was sensational. But the thing that really sets the Chef Monalisa restaurant apart from the competition is the extraordinary service delivered by Monalisa DiAngelo!
Monalisa is the owner and head chef of this wonderful establishment and she believes that exceptional customer service must begin with her. So she sets the tone for all of her employees by demonstrating behaviors to show her customers that they are special and sincerely valued. She makes customers feel welcome by personally greeting them with a warm smile and treating each person like an old friend. Her friendliness and outgoing personality are contagious. You can see it reflected in the smiles of the employees and customers alike.
What impressed me most about Monalisa is the fact that she is always looking for ways to make things even better at her restaurant. She recognizes that her customers are her best sources of great ideas. She personally invites honest feedback from restaurant guests and catering clients. She is not afraid of suggestions for improvement, rather, she views these as gifts, and acts on them quickly to take the restaurant’s food and service to even higher levels of excellence.
Whenever Monalisa had a few minutes to spare, she stationed herself near the doorway and listened in on my customer loyalty workshop. When I was getting ready to leave at the end of the day, she told me she learned some great service tips. I thanked her and responded that I could have just invited her to stand in the front of the room, pointed to her, and told the group, “Just do everything she does!”
My dining experience at this this establishment was terrific and I was even more impressed the following day when the team catered our full-day workshop, providing awesome levels of customer service along with delicious food. It was clear that every employee understood what it means to take ownership of service.