Palm Desert, just off El Paseo Drive, Coachella Valley CA--America's desert oasis. The place: Tiramisu Restaurant, great Italian, family owned, one of our favorites here.
The scene: yesterday, October 12th. My Alma Mater, Penn State, is playing Michigan at Penn State's 107,000-seat Beaver Stadium and it's White Out Saturday--90% of the crowd is wearing bright white. We watch as long as we can but have to get to the restaurant on time (6 pm) for our reservation. We tune into XM channel 90 to listen to the game from State College (through the miracle of satellite radio) and listen in the car as the game goes into another overtime, then another, and another.
We needed to get into the restaurant, and are greeted warmly by the hostess and her husband, the chef. We sit down and are asked how we are doing, and we relay our game listening issue. He turns and gets a MacBook then returns to the table, having already entered the live gamecast on ESPN.com. He places the computer down and we watch the end of the game, with Penn State winning in the fourth overtime.
A little thing, but a welcome one. Much of what makes a great dining experience has nothing to do with the food, but the service. This was the Spirit to Serve personified.
Let me relate a Customer Service story I experienced about a year ago at the Charleston, WV, full service Marriott, that went well beyond my CS expectations. My wife called the front desk to order some extra pillows. When a half hour or so went by without any pillows, she called the front desk again. Some one delivered them immediately with a profuse apology. We tipped them and said no problem as long as we had them now. Imagine our surprise at check out when we found that our room was comped. I even said there was no need to do that as the delay in pillow delivery was not a big deal, but they insisted.