Beyond Chicken-fried Chicken

December 5, 2018

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to have lunch at Celebration Restaurant in Dallas, Texas. The locally owned, farm‐to‐table establishment has been in business for 47 years, which is quite the feat in the restaurant business — it's like turning 150. I regret not springing for the chicken‐fried chicken (yes, that's on the menu) but my meal was delicious nonetheless. What really captured my attention, however, was the incredible display of teamwork I saw in action during our visit.

Celebration Restaurant Team Member

Right after I walked in, two things stood out: a line out the door on a Tuesday lunch hour and a wall of employee photos at the entrance. In an industry known for high turnover — nearly three in four employees, according to National Restaurant Association data released last year — Celebration Restaurant dedicates its entrance to honoring not employees but "partners" who have reached the five–year mark. There must have been at least 50 pictures on that wall. Somehow, Celebration created a culture where employees came and stayed, going against the grain in the fast‐paced, high‐stress restaurant industry.

At Celebration, a partner is assigned to each table, but the entire team is on hand to provide service, too. Out of water, tea, Diet Coke? A partner's there with a refill. Done with your soup? A partner's stopping by to remove the bowl. If you weren't paying attention, you might not notice how many different partners stopped by the table. A "not my table" attitude was nowhere to be found, just one team delivering high‐quality customer service in a completely seamless operation. I doubt the partners at Celebration talk Net Promoter Scores by name; that drive is just in the culture.

I've been thinking a lot about Celebration Restaurant. The restaurant's vision, values, and practices really can be boiled down to a unified team committed to flawless service, taking shared ownership for creating a great customer experience. That's something to aspire to no matter what business you're in. At MoreSteam, we're committed to providing you a great customer experience to help you deliver flawless service to your customers.

Many of you know that I was a MoreSteam customer for over 16 years before joining the company. I can't think of a time that I sent an email or called the MoreSteam office that I didn't get a response right away helping me with an issue. As Celebration Restaurant exemplified partners serving customers flawlessly, so do we strive to serve you. Are we living up to the vision? I would love to hear from you.

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