Where This Meets That
I’m a big believer in customer service, so I try to salute exceptional service when I receive it. Today, I salute Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Snellville, Georgia.
With five kids, it had been a while since we’d taken the whole crew out to dinner. Sunday evening, however, we braved it. We used Texas Roadhouse’s “call-ahead seating” feature then loaded up and the wagons and hit the trail to the restaurant.
Despite calling ahead, we still expected some wait, due to the size of our crew. Surprisingly, they seated us promptly upon arrival. We had a coupon for a free Cactus Blossom (fried onion), and our server delivered it within minutes.
All was going well, but if you have kids, then you know you’re on borrowed time at a restaurant. Best case, the food arrives before all the crayons are broken, Tic-tac-toe has grown old, and everyone begins second-guessing what they ordered to begin with.
But after quickly seating and appetizing us, a pebble plugged the hourglass. Sipping drinks and shelling peanuts, we waited. And waited. Our server repeatedly thanked us for our patience and said our food would be out shortly, but still we waited.
Here, I’ll praise my kids, because they all – 18-month old Catherine included – were wonderfully patient. Our wait was long, but it wasn’t painful because our kids all remained good company.
By the time our meals arrived, some 45 minutes had elapsed since we’d placed our orders. When she delivered our food, our server said she’d spoken with the manager and that he’d offered “dessert on the house.” I responded that we weren’t up for dessert but would appreciate if they would cover the cost of our sodas instead.
Instead, the manager came to our table. He apologized then informed me that their goal is to deliver food to their patrons within 12-15 minutes and that we had waited 45 minutes. To make it right with us, he just gave us the $65 meal at no charge.
Now, in my life, I’ve seen customers storm and bluster and demand recompense for poor service; I’ve been on both the receiving and giving end of that conversation. I’ve also seen many noteworthy feats of customer service over the years, but it is rare to see someone in customer service – even a manager – proactively reach out in such a manner.
He started with the standard, offering a free dessert, but he finished, on his own accord, giving us the meal. That was a genuine effort to make sure a customer comes back. That’s good stuff, Texas Roadhouse!