I must admit – I am indeed a Cracker Barrel fan. They have wonderfully crusted macaroni and cheese. And, of course, thick cut bacon. And you can’t forget the Coca Cola cake with ice cream! I mean, who doesn’t love a good meal?!
But my experience did not stop at just a great meal when I was at the O’Fallon Cracker Barrel. In this particular experience, I do not believe I could have improved anything in any way.
As I entered the lobby, of course, I heard the usual, “Welcome to Cracker Barrel,” but this greeting was a bit different. The employee looked up and beamed at me; I could really tell that she had a smile in her voice, too.
As I approached the hostess station, I was greeted by a smiling, friendly face who said, “Welcome to Cracker Barrel! How many are in your party?” As he came out from behind the station, he walked over to the picture of the special of the day and explained the special while drawing my eye to the picture with his hands. He then said that the hostess would take me to my seat.
Yep, here’s where it gets good.
Usually, a person walking you to your table walks ahead of you and is waiting for you when you get to the table. This is what I would usually call a missed opportunity but not in this case. You see, the person actually walked with me and had a REAL conversation! Wow, almost unheard of! (By the way, businesses often tell me they do not have time to walk with the customer, to which I say, “It takes the same amount of time to wait for them there as it does to walk, talk, and build a relationship for ten seconds.”)
The hostess let us know the name of our waitress and quietly stepped away. About ten seconds later an extremely friendly waitress approached and asked for my drink order. You just knew by looking and talking with her that she loved her job and clearly did it very well. I decided on a new dish, requesting the bacon be a bit crisp and sour cream on the side. My tea was never left empty. She just unassumingly slid in and filled it.
Oh, and when my food arrived – it included EVERYTHING I asked for.
Here is another WOW. As I was finishing up my meal the waitress approached with another waiter, to let me know that her shift was ending and she wanted to introduce me to my new waiter. WOW! Really! Okay, so get this, HE was just as friendly as SHE was! It was crazy. I just sat there in awe of it all.
As I finished up my plate, the waiter said, “Are you finished with your plate?” and I said, “I am thinking I couldn’t lick anything more off that plate,” and he responded with, “So no room for pineapple upside cake?” WOW – an upsell. So, of course, with that being said, I felt the need to – well, I HAD to order a dessert at that time, but made the choice of the Coca Cola Cake with ice cream.
At this point, I couldn’t hold back any more. So, when he came back to the table, I gave him a card and explained that I owned my own customer service company and I wanted him to know that I would be blogging about him on my website. When he brought the check and on my way out, I stopped to talk with the manager. He was extremely grateful for my feedback, and it just so happened that others from the management team were at the table. Every single one of them was nicer than the other.
What made this complete experience a WOW was just that – it was a complete experience. Every detail was handled, every script was utilized (though without feeling scripted), and even the restroom was clean (An unclean restroom would have thrown this whole experience out the door.).
It’s true that you remember the lowest level of experience you’ve ever received. I now challenge you to find something in this experience that wasn’t a WOW! So, O’Fallon Cracker Barrel, I am going to say words that will just make your day – “I’ll be back!”