News for the Hospitality Executive
Service Excellence: Lessons from a 5 Star/5 Diamond Restaurant
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
Both of Bryan’s books can be purchased at http://shop.bwenterprise.net/
B. Williams Enterprise, LLC
LOVE Business / Bryan K. Williams / June 2012
Next Level in Service Excellence: Give. Share. Teach. / Bryan K.
Williams / April 2012
Excellence 101: Earn Your Customers' Confidence and Reap the Rewards
/ Bryan K. Williams / March 2012
Service WOW Stories to Inspire Your Team! / Bryan K. Williams /
Me: Help Me to Become More Than I Realize I Can Be / Bryan K.
Williams / February 2012
Teleseminar with Dr. Bryan K. Williams! 10 Things To Improve Service In
Your Business / January 2012
and Re-Earn Your Customers' Loyalty / Bryan K. Williams, D.M. /
Your Customers / Bryan K. Williams, D.M. / October 2011
Like You Own It! 20 Ways to Go From Meeting to Exceeding Your
Customers' Expectations: New Book by Dr. Bryan K. Williams /
Excellence 101: Be Welcoming / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM /
Three Ingredients of Engaging Service: Humility, Reverence &
Professionalism / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / August 2011
Excellence: The MOST Important Thing To Create a Service Culture! /
Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / July 2011
Excellence 101: How to Serve a VIP / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM /
1st Step of Service: Be Eager to Serve / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM
/ May 2011
Service: The Double-Platinum Rule 2.0 / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM /
Problem Resolution: The 100% Principle / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM
/ March 2011
Service 102: Be memorable / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / February
your service to the next level: Only BIG WOW’s…No bow-wow’s / Dr.
Bryan K. Williams, DM / February 2011
Excellence: Inspect What You Expect / Bryan K. Williams, D.M. /
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|
each touchpoint memorable: Cha-Ching! / Dr. Bryan K. Williams /
Superstars: Work like you own it! / Bryan Williams / February 2010
resources from Bryan K. Williams and B.Williams Enterprise! Begin 2010
with a focus on world-class service. / January 2010
Ambassadors: The Key to Providing World-Class Service / Bryan K.
Williams / November 2009
Employees - Part 3 / Bryan K. Williams / September 2009
Employees - Part 2 / Bryan K. Williams / August 2009
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|