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Service Excellence: Lessons from a 5 Star/5 Diamond Restaurant


by Bryan K. Willliams, D.M.
July 9, 2012


Years ago, I heard a French wine maker say, “Good is not good enough; in fact, it has to be perfect all the time”. He was referring to the detail and care that goes into growing grapes at his winery. That one quote captures the essence of what a 5-star/5-diamond restaurant strives for. I recently dined at Lautrec, which is a 5-star/5-diamond restaurant at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, PA. While I have dined in exceptional restaurants in the past, this was among the best in the world, by far. So, in the spirit of Give.Share.Teach, I would like to highlight some key points that anyone (in any industry) can learn from Lautrec.
 
Reverence
One of the first things customers should notice is that they are the absolute focus of your team’s attention. At Lautrec, I felt like I was the guest of honor at a high-profile gala. The beautiful thing is that I am sure that every guest felt that way also. Being a 5 star/5 diamond restaurant means that you have a laser-like focus on whomever you happen to be serving at the moment; whether it is for 15 seconds or 15 minutes.

*Discuss this question with your team: What can you and your team do to make your customer’s feel like they are the guest of honor at a banquet?

Personal Touches

At Lautrec, the attention-to-detail is key. For example, my name was printed on the menu. Beyond looking “cool”, the customized menu signified that they were prepared for me and cared enough to add a special touch. Again, every guest received this. You see, it’s not enough to be exemplary every now and then. 5-star/5-diamond means that you are exemplary ALL the time. To a certain degree, you have to maintain a binary view of the products and services you offer. They should be either exceptional, or completely poor. When you are trying to deliver a world-class service experience, it can be dangerous to have gray areas. Those gray areas can easily multiply and infect other services and products that you are offering.
 
*Discuss this question with your team: How can you and your team customize the experience more for your customers?
 
Knowledge
At Lautrec, my server literally knew everything about everything on the menu. When I asked him about champagne, he told me about the taste, the region the grapes were grown, the temperature and a little story about the winemaker. When I asked about a salad item, he went into similar and exciting detail. The server spoke about garden greens like they were the greatest creation of mankind. He was not only very knowledgeable, but he was happy to be very knowledgeable. True service professionals stand out from the crowd because of their commitment to excellence.
 
*Discuss this question with your team: What information should everyone on your team know about their profession, company, and industry?

Gracious Goodbye

At Lautrec, the farewell experience was just as memorable as the welcoming experience. I received a tour of the kitchen and the culinary staff was waiting to greet and thank me for coming in. At the end of the tour, the chef signed the menu, then rolled it up like a scroll as a memento.
 
*Discuss this question with your team: How can you and your team enhance the farewell experience?
 
Not everyone is willing to work in an environment where excellence is expected every day. That statement is true for both leaders and line staff. As an employee, you have to bring a certain amount of innate passion, pride and professionalism to the job. As a leader, you must have an eye for detail, expect excellence every day, and maintain a healthy intolerance for mediocrity. But above all, a leader in a 5-star/5-diamond caliber team MUST model the service they expect to see.
 
Perhaps the biggest lesson I took from Lautrec is that there is something special and inspiring about caring deeply for your craft. That caring is manifested through reverence, personal touches and being knowledgeable, among other things. Good is not good enough; in fact, it has to be perfect all the time.
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Testimonials:
 
Thanks so much for your presentation on '"Delivering World Class Service" at our recent Officers' Meeting.  You delivered a terrific presentation with great energy, great humor and great points.  It was important for our group to be reminded of some of the important fundamental principles of client service but also to learn new concepts like your "Double-Platinum Rule" and your distinction between function and purpose.  Thanks again.  We look forward to working with you again in the near future. 

                                                            --Jay Grauberger, Clark Construction Group, LLC
 
I wanted to thank you for the excellent presentation my Tasting Room Staff attended in Sonoma this past Spring! We are true “double platinum” believers and still feel energized by your positive messaging. We are entering high season this month and I see the extra bit of effort each server extends when they step out on the floor. Engaged, Own it, and Double Platinum is all we have to say to each other to step it up. Very powerful!
                                                            --Kristin Wastell, Ravenswood Winery


About Bryan K. Williams
Dr. Bryan K. Williams is the Chief Service Officer of B.Williams Enterprise, and the author of Engaging Service: 22 Ways to Become a Service Superstar and Work Like You Own It! 20 Ways to Go From Meeting to Exceeding Your Customers’ Expectations. Bryan’s passion is world-class customer service, and has facilitated workshops and delivered keynotes all over the world for various companies.  He speaks on a variety of topics related to service excellence, employee engagement, and organizational improvement.  As a consultant, Bryan works closely with companies to design, develop, and implement sustainable service strategies. His company’s online store includes a growing collection of customer service products that are well-suited for your training library.

Find more resources relating to service excellence at www.bwenterprise.net.

Also on the website, you can subscribe to the official B.Williams Enterprise emailing list.  You will receive announcements, newsletters and other excellent resources.

-We exist to serve others so they may better serve the world ®.-

Both of Bryan’s books can be purchased at http://shop.bwenterprise.net/ 

 


Contact:

B. Williams Enterprise, LLC 

Website: www.bwenterprise.net
Email:  info@bwenterprise.net 
Facebook: BWEnterprise
Twitter: @bwenterprise
Phone: 240-401-6958

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Also See: The LOVE Business / Bryan K. Williams / June 2012

The Next Level in Service Excellence: Give. Share. Teach. / Bryan K. Williams / April 2012

Service Excellence 101: Earn Your Customers' Confidence and Reap the Rewards / Bryan K. Williams / March 2012

Customer Service WOW Stories to Inspire Your Team! / Bryan K. Williams / February 2012

Lead Me: Help Me to Become More Than I Realize I Can Be / Bryan K. Williams / February 2012

Complimentary Teleseminar with Dr. Bryan K. Williams! 10 Things To Improve Service In Your Business / January 2012

Earn and Re-Earn Your Customers' Loyalty / Bryan K. Williams, D.M. / December 2011

Honor Your Customers / Bryan K. Williams, D.M. / October 2011

Work Like You Own It! 20 Ways to Go From Meeting to Exceeding Your Customers' Expectations: New Book by Dr. Bryan K. Williams / October 2011

Service Excellence 101: Be Welcoming / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / September 2011

The Three Ingredients of Engaging Service: Humility, Reverence & Professionalism / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / August 2011

Service Excellence: The MOST Important Thing To Create a Service Culture! / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / July 2011

Service Excellence 101: How to Serve a VIP / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / June 2011

The 1st Step of Service: Be Eager to Serve / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / May 2011

World-Class Service: The Double-Platinum Rule 2.0 / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / April 2011

Customer Problem Resolution: The 100% Principle / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / March 2011

World-Class Service 102: Be memorable / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / February 2011

Take your service to the next level: Only BIG WOW’s…No bow-wow’s / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / February 2011

Service Excellence: Inspect What You Expect / Bryan K. Williams, D.M. / November 2010

Work Like You Own It 2.0; Energize it. Recognize it. Celebrate it. / Bryan K. Williams, D.M. / September 2010

World-Class Service 101: Know the difference between meeting and exceeding expectations / Dr. Bryan K. Williams / July 2010

Service Superstars Part 2: Treat them like they own it! / Dr. Bryan K. Williams / June 2010

Make each touchpoint memorable: Cha-Ching! / Dr. Bryan K. Williams / April 2010

Service Superstars: Work like you own it! / Bryan Williams / February 2010

Complimentary resources from Bryan K. Williams and B.Williams Enterprise! Begin 2010 with a focus on world-class service. / January 2010

Service Ambassadors: The Key to Providing World-Class Service / Bryan K. Williams / November 2009

5-Star Employees - Part 3 / Bryan K. Williams / September 2009

5-Star Employees - Part 2 / Bryan K. Williams / August 2009

5-Star Employees - Part 1/ Bryan K. Williams / July 2009

Engaging Service: 22 Ways to Become a Service Superstar / Bryan K. Williams / July 2009

Complimentary tele-seminars with Bryan K. Williams in July! / July 2009

Building a Team of Living It Employees / Bryan K. Williams / June 2009

World-Class Service: What if every employee served like a concierge? / Byran K Williams / March 2009

5 Star Leadership: What Does It Take to Be a 5-star Leader? / Byran Williams / February 2009

5 Stars vs. 4 Stars: What’s the Difference? / Byran Williams / January 2009

Complimentary training with Bryan Williams / January 2009

The 7 Principles of EngageMeTM is now available! / Bryan K. Williams / November 2008

Hiring and Engaging a World-Class Team / Bryan K. Williams / October 2008

Great Ideas for National Customer Service Week 2008 / Bryan K. Williams / September 2008

Delivering World-Class Service Part 3: Company Service Standards / Bryan K. Williams / September 2008

Delivering World-Class Service Pt. 2: Personal Service Standards / Bryan K. Williams / September 2008

Delivering World-Class Service: Function vs. Purpose / Bryan K. Williams / August 2008

Guest Problem Resolution 101: Power of the Follow-Up / Bryan K. Williams / June 2008

7 Principles to Fully Engage Your Customers – Part 2 / Bryan K. Williams / May 2008

7 Principles to Fully Engage Your Customers / Bryan K. Williams / April 2008

I Am a Service Professional™ / Bryan K. Williams / March 2008

Engage Every Customer…One Touchpoint at a Time / Bryan K. Williams / January 2008

Engaging Service Part 2: It’s All About the Culture / Bryan K. Williams / December 2007

Engaging Service Part 1: Not Just for the Chic / Bryan K. Williams / November 2007

Service Excellence: A Destination or a Journey? / Bryan K. Williams / October 2007

National Customer Service Week is Coming Soon - October 1-5, 2007 / September 2007

National Customer Service Week is Coming Soon - October 1-5, 2007 / September 2007

Engage Me…the Voice of Your Customer www.engagemenow.com / September 2007

Customer Engagement: Where do we begin? / Byran K Williams / August 2007

Engage Me…the Voice of Your Customer / www.engagemenow.com / August 2007

B. Williams Enterprise, LLC Launches Engage Me…  the Voice of Your Customer / August 2007

To Engage…Listen to the Voice of Your Customer / Byran K Williams / August 2007

To Engage the Guest, You Must Engage Those Who Directly Serve the Guest / Byran K Williams / July 2007

Three Service Rules: The Golden Rule, Platinum Rule, and Double Platinum Rule/ Byran K Williams / June 2007

The Greatest Bellman I Ever Met… / Bryan K. Williams / April 2006

Sorry to Say…But Some People Should Not be Serving Other Human Beings / Bryan K Williams / October 2006
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