There is something special about true customer service!

A few weeks ago, I was in Spartanburg, SC and decided to have lunch with a good friend! Jim O’Donnell (some people know him as @JimSharp because he is the scissor sharpening business) of Wolff Industries took me out to lunch, the original Fatz Cafe was our destination. If you have not gone to the Fatz Cafe in Spartanburg, SC, you are missing out on something special. They have the best fried chicken strips around.

As we walk into Fatz Cafe, it was noticeably busy but we were immediately seated in a special section. I do not mean special because of some big event going on, but it was because Jim is a regular at Fatz and has grown to know almost all of the staff.

As we sat and began chatting, he was telling me of this waitress that just retired and had worked at this particular Fatz for close to 23 years. Who works at a restaurant as a server for 23 years (I thought in my mind as we ordered two Dr. Peppers). I also learned that Jim loved Dr. Pepper as much as I did…good guy I tell ya! Back to the story; Jim continues to tell me how this one lady, this one server could work magic in this restaurant.  He explained one time he wanted a particular soft drink that Fatz did not serve. Instead of telling him that they did not serve this soft drink, she took his order and brought him what he requested. What he later found out is that as soon as she walked away with the drink order, she walked across the street to purchase the soft drink, put in on ice like any other drink, and serve it to him without he even knowing it was an issue. Now that is customer service.

This lady loved her job and she loved her customers. She loved the people that walk through the door, this was shown by  the way she made them feel special. After about five minutes into his explanation, I felt like I knew this lady and no longer viewed her as a “waitress.” She was the face of this establishment for close to 23 years.

As Jim and I sat and continued chatting about this lady, our waitress for that day told Jim that Shryl was here and Jim’s eyes lit up immediately. You see, Shryl Dover was that waitress of 23 years…the one that walked across the street to get that special soft drink. Our waitress walked back to find Shryl to send her our way. As she peered around the corner, it was like old friends picking up where they left off…Jim and Shryl just chatted without missing a beat.

jim-and-shrylYou see, it was that day the young owner of this Fatz Cafe had talked Shryl into coming back part time. That owner knew that Shryl had a tribe, a group of people that enjoyed seeing her smiling face….that special touch when it comes to true customer service. I made a new friend that day and I will never see Fatz Cafe as just the building that serves great fried chicken strips,  I will see it as the place where I can come talk to a friend and the fried chicken strips are the bonus.

Thanks Shryl Dover and thanks Jim O’Donnell for sharing this story! Everybody has a story to tell, even in a Fatz Cafe!