While many of us just celebrated Valentine’s Day with our special person, did you spend any time thinking about how you and your business shows love to your customers? Or do you provide exceptional service all year long, like one of my favorite restaurants?
Manhattan is an area that my husband Mike’s business takes him to several times a year. When it is possible, I accompany him. We often stay in the same geographical area, in Midtown, from 54th street to 57th street, at or near Avenue of the Americas. There are a couple of restaurants in that area that we enjoy. One of those is the Wayfarer. The Wayfarer is on West 57th street at 6th Avenue.
We went to the Wayfarer a couple of days ago, and were greeted by the manager, David Monroy, as regulars. While it is not uncommon to be greeted in that manner by our local Raleigh Cheers, Sawmill Tap Room, it is quite another thing to be treated as and to feel like a regular in Manhattan! But thanks to David Monroy, that is what we experienced.
I have written about the excellent service we received at the Wayfarer Restaurant once previously, but that article was about the excellent service of a waiter, not a manager. I should have written about David Monroy (whose photo accompanies this article) before, for he provided a level of service in a previous visit that was exceptional. As one who is passionate about customer service, it isn’t easy to “Wow” me. But that time, and this, I was.
In a previous visit, I had the Lobster Roll, which was delicious, and which I was looking forward to enjoying again, only to find that it was no longer on the menu. I mentioned my disappointment about the lobster roll to the manager, David Monroy, when he came over to greet us, not expecting anything from my comment. But Mr. Monroy quickly offered to see if the kitchen could prepare the lobster roll for me, even though it was no longer on the menu. He did, they did, and the lobster roll, while different that the previous one, was delicious. Service beyond expectation.
I have been very impressed by David Monroy, for he exhibits the best of what management is all about, both for the customer, as well as for the staff. The examples I have just mentioned are evidence of his focus on the customer, even customers like us who are irregular patrons and virtually unimportant. It goes without saying that if David Monroy values us as customers, he probably treats all customers well. That is important, but it is even more important how a manager treats the staff, for the staff is the most important customer of the manager. The “paying” customer is the most important customer of the staff, and when the manager treats the staff well, it is more likely that they will treat the (paying) customer well. While a customer, I have paid attention to how David Monroy treats the staff.
It is often the non-verbal behavior that speaks volumes. Does there seem to be a comfortable relationship between the manager and the staff? Do the staff asks for the manager’s assistance, or is he/she even available for such? Is the manager on the floor, where the action is, or in his/her office, removed from the customer experience? All of these variables reflect the importance the business places on “management by walking around.” The fact that David Monroy has been present every time we have been to the restaurant, and we have been there at different times, reflects to me that he, and his bosses, place a high priority on management’s presence and availability to the staff. I have also noticed that there seems to be a comfortable relationship between David and the staff. And in the lobster roll experience, he stated he would “see if the kitchen could prepare it for me,” not “tell them to.” All of this makes it much more likely that the staff feel well cared for, and that they place a high priority on serving the customer well.
Even though Mike and I aren’t famous, although at the Wayfarer we are made to feel like we are, the restaurant does have some famous (and some might say “infamous!”) customers. The previous night, the cast members of Saturday Night Live, including Alex Baldwin, were at the Wayfarer until the wee hours of the morning after their show.
It is a pleasure to recommend the Wayfarer Restaurant, and David Monroy, manager, and to consider this our “Cheers” in midtown Manhattan.
And remember, love your customers!