With my major in hospitality I wanted to talk about an innovator who I see does well in service development and the one innovator that came into mind when talking about designs of goods and services is Charlie Trotters. In my hospitality course, we were to read “Lessons in Service from Charlie Trotter” and the book talked about the operation process of the restaurant with the employees as well as the customers. It really showed emphasis on how concentrating the detail and aspects of both the employees and guests is what gives off the success of service in the long run.
With his employees, he wants his customers to get the service that his servers would want to receive so he encourages his staff to go dine at different restaurants and do research on what was good and what wasn’t. That way they can implement it on their dining service. Also there are many different positions in Charlie Trotters and in order for his staff to be the best he gives his employees opportunities (under his expense) by traveling to various states or countries to take a workshop or expo so they can increase their expertise.
This restaurant is the typical restaurant where you may or may not be greeted at the door, you sit, server comes to your table, you order, somebody who isn’t your server delivers your food, you eat, ask for the check, and then leave. This restaurant isn’t cheap either but it all depends what your definition of expen$ive because even though this course meal may cost your wallet to be empty the service you get out of it could be once in a lifetime and be worth the experience. Now I can’t list off what every single detail that they do that makes this service an experience but I will share some examples from the book that customers have experienced with Charlie Trotters servers going the extra mile.
What I want to first mention is the customization of the menu. People go there mainly for the service and if you don’t see anything you like on the menu the Chiefs will make something to your liking, even if they don’t have the ingredients. They will go to the local shops and do what they can to make you happy. There is also HONESTY. With every guest he will go the extra mile but he admits that if he just sees that his service won’t be compatible with his guest he will suggest other restaurants that will suit his guest rather than forcing a service in order to gain profit.
One service example is the blizzard that ran through Chicago on January 2nd, 1999. The restaurant wasn’t as packed but loyal guests had showed up to their reservations anyway taking cabs and the transit. After their dinner, the staff contacted numerous of cabs and limos that would take their guests back to their home and they had no luck. Instead, Charlie didn’t want his guests waiting any longer so he offered himself and as well as the staff to be your personal driver of the night.
A guest wanted to propose to his girlfriend that night at the restaurant and he wanted to use a poem. He explained to the reservationist over the phone how he didn’t know what to do and he needed help and with the help of the reservationist they both worked out a poem over the phone where he was able to read that night.
Parking is hard to find in the area and a guest had their car towed. This guest traveled from another state in order to dine at Trotters. As the guest complained about the car being towed to the receptionist, Sandoval, he offered to take the guest to the towing company. Sandoval didn’t just drop him off but he stayed with the guest throughout the night waiting at the pound until the guest retrieved his car.
There are other small examples from the staff trying to beat you to the bathroom so they can open the door for you to handing you their tie that they are wearing because you mentioned how much you liked it to Charlie offering to make you lunch even though the restaurant is only open at dinner time.
Were there any restaurants that you been to that you saw as an innovator to a service that they didn’t have to perform but did anyway? Or had unique strategies on how to treat their operations and employees?
RESOURCE: LAWLER, EDUMUND. “LESSONS IN SERVICE FROM CHARLIE TROTTER.”