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Exceptional Service for an Exceptional Experience

Selecting a restaurant isn’t always easy. Especially when you want to celebrate something special. You trust that the restaurant will do their part to make the experience unique and memorable. This is an example of getting it right.

The Reservation

In the fall of 2022, I made a reservation at Oceanaire, the seafood restaurant. While making that reservation, I filled in the box which asked if there were any comments about the reservation. I explained that my wife had recently gotten a promotion and we were coming in to celebrate that occasion.

The process of making the reservation was routine, but what unfolded upon our arrival at the restaurant is something I still think about often when talking about the restaurant experience.

The Arrival

We arrived at the door and were asked for the name on the reservation. Once I gave my name, the person at the door looked up and said “Welcome Mr. Griffith. Thank you for joining us this evening to celebrate this special occasion. Mrs. Griffith, congratulations on your promotion.”

From that point forward, EVERYONE we encountered congratulated my wife on your promotion and thanked us for visiting them to celebrate the occasion. They went so far as to provide a complementary dessert as a finishing touch for the evening.

It’s easy to say we received this level of attention because Oceanaire is a high-end restaurant, but we’ve been to other high-end restaurants and did not receive this level of attention. That makes the experience at Oceanaire exceptional.

I’ve made similar reservations since that time and never receive the same level of service. In one case, we were treated as if we were just another guest and asked to have a seat and wait in line. They never acknowledged our celebrating our wedding anniversary there. While we had a good time there and the food was good, I probably wouldn’t keep them on my list for special occasions.

Sharing the Story

My point in sharing this story is that our evening was memorable not just because of the food, which was very good, but it was because it made our EXPERIENCE exceptional. Other than the dessert they provided at the end, nothing they did had a particular cost. The warm greeting at the door, the happy server that tended to our every need, the many congratulations my wife received throughout the evening, all contributed to a remarkable evening.

I believe people want to have an amazing experience when they go out and food is just one part of that experience. The other parts include the staff, decor, and even the restrooms. It all communicates to guests the quality of a restaurant.

To the restaurants that take the time to read the notes on reservations and go out of their way to make occasions feel special, Thank You.

Do you have a story of exceptional service? If you do, please leave comments in the section below.


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