Crested Butte holiday stay spotlights customer service peaks, valleys, continued
Kudos and Kudon’ts of 4 days in a glorious natural setting
Part 3, Dining: Food & Beverage
What are anniversaries without dining experiences? Ours were a mixed bag, ranging from “Meh” to “Wow!”
Kudos include “Wow” service and food at Bonez (enchiladas to die for served by an angel) and Pitas in Paradise (one of the tastiest gyros I’ve ever had, paired with an intriguing Hungarian mushroom soup, and a server who complemented Crested Butte’s laid-back reputation while still being attentive).
There really weren’t any Kudon’ts, although I had a couple “Meh” experiences that stuck out when compared to the great ones. For the most part, Crested Butte maintains a welcoming, small-town feel that is reflected in the restaurants we frequented.
As always, there were customer service takeaways:
- A personality-plus server can make or break any dining experience. In many ways, it’s more important than the food, pricing, and ambiance of the place. Particularly at Bonez, I felt like we’d made a new friend. Our server was communicative, attentive, knowledgeable, and just plain fun. This was perfect, as it was our second first-date anniversary meal. I don’t know why a restaurant would tolerate servers who are perfunctory or plain vanilla. So much of the experience depends on good customer service, and this is the primary point of contact. Being an order-taker is best left to fast-food establishments that just shovel food out the door. Being a dining goodwill ambassador should be the order of any day in any restaurant.
- Food is a highly subjective experience. If a restaurant patron doesn’t favor a particular item, make it right without arguing the point. (This is decidedly different from the mooch who eats almost an entire meal, then complains in obvious hope of a freebie.) It’s much better for everyone involved when a diner departs satisfied, and in turn recommends the restaurant to others. But, good food and customer service typically must be paired to receive rave reviews.
- Make a restaurant manager visit an integral part of the meal. I love restaurants where a manager comes by to assess the experience. It’s in the moment, and it’s personal (unlike after-the-fact automated surveys). In addition, it shows a level of caring and promotes patrons to call out good (as well as bad) results. Finally, it shows an investment toward constant improvement. And who doesn’t like that?
Overall score on a scale of 1 (lowest)-10 (highest) for Crested Butte Restaurants: 8.5.
To be continued…watch for the next installment:
Mark Lusky is a veteran writer, storyteller and author, with 40+ years of public relations, advertising, marketing and journalism experience. He is the author of A Wandering Wondering Jew… and co-author of Don’t Get Mad, Get Leverage. AKA The Happy Curmudgeon, Mark is the owner of a Denver-based marketing communications firm celebrating 36 years in business in 2018.