I am not much for reality shows but a few years back, my grandson got me into watching "The Amazing Race". This last years version had a couple of very lovable cowboy brothers who actually came in second in the race but first in most peoples hearts because of their incredible integrity. They lost because they would not stoop to the tactics of others. I also liked the fact that they did not have to bleep their remarks when they got frustrated. One of the guys favorite sayings was "Oh Good Gravy".
Now, being in the restaurant game, I know how important that particular phrase is to a good breakfast venue. We have worked over the years to keep the quality and consistency of our gravy high.
Yesterday, as I was setting up a couple of plates, one of them just seemed different. I asked Penny if this was a special group and she laughed. "You should come and talk with this guy. He has quite a story about our gravy.".
I got sidetracked with work but was able to stop and talk with him as he left the diner. His bright smile was very engaging as he began his story:
"I came to your restaurant over 12 years ago and gave your gravy the only 10 that I had ever given. I love gravy and I rate it all over the country as I eat in various restaurants. It was the only 10 that I had ever given a restaurant up until a couple of years ago when I was in the plains of Canada. I stopped into a small restaurant there and their gravy was great. I stopped the waitress and raved about their gravy. I told them that it was the best gravy that I had ever tasted since eating in a restaurant down in Bend, Oregon called Jake's. The waitress smiled and said that their cook had worked in Jake's".
He didn't ask the cooks name but surmised that he had learned his skill from us. I smiled but queried him, "What is more important is how was your gravy today?". He smiled and gave me a hearty thumbs up. "A 10 again.", he stated.
Those are the times that push you on to continue. Like a strike in bowling or a good drive or putt in golf. But as good as they are at motivating you, I believe it is listening to the downside that will keep you alive. So, please, if you ever have a problem while eating at our establishment, please don't hold back. Let me know. While I love hearing the good, it is the silent customer that I know that I must watch for.