Tips & Best Practices for Family Entertainment Centers

Poinsettias in August?

My faith in great guest service is improving by the day! My husband and I were out to eat on Sunday having a leisurely brunch at Cyclone Anaya’s Mexican Kitchen, in Dallas. One thing you need to know is that anytime I can have chips and queso, there’s a good chance I’m going to be very happy about everything!

It’s hard to get hips as big as mine without having a lot of chips and queso! I digress.

So JD and I are enjoying each other and some wonderful Mexican food. Our waitress is spectacular! Before you know it, she’s talked me into “bottomless” Poinsettias. I don’t think I even knew what a Poinsettia was before Sunday (well of course I know they are beautiful flowers we must have a Christmas). But at Cyclone Anaya’s you have a choice of bottomless Mimosas or Poinsettias on Sunday morning.

I’m not wild about mimosas because orange juice does not sit well with me. I told the waitress that when she insisted we should have these bottomless mimosas with our brunch. I didn’t even know you could sell any kind of alcohol in Texas on Sundays before noon (and I’m sure I should not have entertained the idea of having a drink before noon on any day).

However, our server was very persuasive and she had a solution to my distaste for orange juice. She said, “Well you must have the poinsettia then.” To which my reply was, “I’m not sure what a poinsettia is.” She was more than happy to educate us and when she mentioned the poinsettia had cranberry juice and champagne, my resistance went right out the window and I had to say yes.

It seemed to me that she was very interested in making sure we had the very best experience. They must have a culture of “fun” at Cyclone Anaya’s.

The valet said, “Have fun in there,” as he gave us the valet ticket and parked our car. Our waitress said, “Hope you had fun this morning” when we closed out our check. Of course, I love that. I think I have a core value in my life that things ought to be fun. Oh right, I made a company with a motto of “fun training-serious results!” I was definitely intrigued by their focus on fun. Maybe champagne poinsettias in the morning assure that a fun attitude is had by all!

Finally the thing that impressed me the most happened as we were getting ready to leave …

Our waitress looked us in the eye and genuinely thanked us for coming and then she said, “I hope to see you next week.” She made it very personal. She asked if we lived in the area.  My husband explained that our daughter, Leslie, lives close but that we live in Ft. Worth. We were in the neighborhood because I had driven Leslie’s car home to our house the night before and we were simply returning her car.  I don’t know the waitress cared for all of that extra information but if she didn’t you couldn’t tell. She followed up with the fact that with our daughter in the area we should definitely come over on Sunday mornings and have brunch with her.

I was so taken with her sweet invitation and honestly feel like we need to go to Dallas for brunch every Sunday.  Of course that great feeling is probably a combination of the sincerity of her invitation, my love for chips and queso, and the 2 ½ Poinsettias I had with brunch. Nonetheless, my faith in service and the ability to find great guest service is on the upswing this week.

Oh, and from a sales point of view, our ticket was $10.50 more than it would have been if we had not purchased the poinsettia – so Great Guest Service is GREAT SALES! (This is a program that we teach all the time!  We would love to bring that message to your staff.)

Have you had outstanding service lately?  Have you given great service? Is your staff sincerely inviting your guests to return tomorrow, next week, next month?  I think it’s a great idea to get specific.  It’s not good enough to take a chance on “see you next time.”  I would love to hear your recent great guest service moments in the comments section below!



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  1. Beth Standlee on August 24, 2011 at 9:45 am

    We got this GREAT email from our friend, Adam Melrose, who is the Sales Director for the Bowling Music Network. We just had to share: “Great read this morning Beth. Recently I have been receiving amazing customer service from the cashiers at the local grocery store that I shop at. They used to be phenomenal, but they’ve been going downhill for about 8 months.
    Anytime I shop there, I always speak to the manager on the way out b/c I usually either have a great experience there or a horrible one. Never in the middle. Odd. Nonetheless I don’t care that it’s a grocery store, I want good service.

    This week I found out that my comments have been widely spread across the staff and they all know me now. At least the full-timers. After one great review, I understand that one lady received a $1.00 per hour raise. My comments were the fuel needed to get here to the next pay increase.

    I do this almost everywhere that I go. My wife does get a bit annoyed from time to time, but it’s what I do.
    The great thing is that, at most of our local spots that we frequent, the managers know me by name.”

    Thanks, Adam, for the wonderful feedback!

  2. Ed Fasso on August 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm


    I travel a lot, not as much as you, but still I log a lot of miles. Whenever I get good service I make it a point to ask for a manager. I tell the manager, usually in front of the individual responsible for the great service, exactly what the individual did. I also tell the manager they should be paying that person more or they should promote that person. You should see the faces of the server!! Usually they expect me to complain I guess. I have the opportunity to follow up on a couple of these comments. One of the servers at a restaurant I frequent when I am in Norfolk is now the Assistant Manager. She got promoted in two (2) months. No previous experience, she got out of High School in June. She got promoted over several employees who had been there much longer. Great person, friendly, personable and POLITE. She says please, thank you and all the other phrases that seem to be going out of style. (As an aside, if I take my 10 YO to a fast food restaurant, I have been known to walk out if the clerk just says “That will be $10.25”. No please, no thank you. Drives my wife crazy. An added benefit.)
    Your server did everything right. Your ticket was higher, so her tip was higher as well. Her bosses were happy, they made more $$, she was happy, she made more $$. A win win.

  3. Andrea Garcia on August 25, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I went last Friday with my boyfriend and we were so amazed by this tapas and wine bar called Phlight. I have never been a real big fan of tapas. I have been to Spain twice and had one heck of a time finding food I was really excited about. I had a horrible experience at that tapas place in Vegas at that new hotel Cosmopolitan! With tapas each dish is usually a strange combination of food, but I fell in love with everything we ordered here. Technically we didn’t really do our own ordering. Our server Shane did it all and he was great. Really patient with us and everything he suggested was perfect. The bacon wrapped dates were so incredible and by far our favorite of the night. The rib eye was wonderful and it was accompanied with tasty asparagus. The empanadas were interesting, but in a good way. For dessert the mexican chocolate soufle was good. I liked everything except the chocolate bananas dessert (yes we ordered both…don’t judge us). Overall it was the ultimate treat and we plan on going back with friends to share the goodness of Phlight all because of our server Shane’s patience and knowledge of his product. I had a closed mind when I first arrived and afterwards I wanted to share what the restaurant had to offer with all my family and friends.

    Thanks Beth. I love your blog!

    Andrea Garcia
    Sales Coordinator
    17871 Castleton Street
    City of Industry, CA 91748
    626.913.9663 Ext. 110

  4. Beth Standlee on August 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Andrea, Ed, & Adam,

    I’m so delighted that you took the time to tell your good service stories. I think it’s all too easy to point out the bad stuff but many many times we do get great service. My thought is that if we keep talking about it more it will somehow make the good stuff happen more often.

    I’m always open to it being great. Andrea, it really thrills me that you “love” our blog. That feels very personal to me and helps me know that maybe, just maybe we can all make a little difference in one anothers lives… YOU are so sweet to take he time to share! You all are…



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