Say whaaaa? It’s been a good while since I’ve written. I’ve been rather distracted and uninspired. I’ve also been busy with “life,” not the least of which is dealing with my daughter’s leukemia diagnosis and treatment. I’m also a busy hockey dad.
Two nights ago, my son and I stopped at a Longhorn’s Steakhouse restaurant on the way home from a hockey tournament. We’ve been there many times before. The food is consistently good and reasonably priced. So, we didn’t expect anything new or extraordinary. We were hungry, and it was on the way home.
We were seated by the hostess and soon after, our waiter showed up. He enthusiastically introduced himself as the “Puerto Rican Cowboy.” Mmmm-kay. He was one of those high-energy servers who just seemed to enjoy his job. Along with the usual server banter and efforts to make sure we had what we needed (keeping drinks topped off, etc.), he would throw in a few words in Spanish… words that most non-speakers know like, “Gracias.”
When we got the bill, he signed off, so-to-speak, by repeating his moniker, “I’m the Puerto Rican Cowboy… buenas noches!”
It’s all brand-bearings these days.
Pardon my “Fletch.” 😉 So, what’s the point of this story? First, he was a great waiter. He was attentive, enthusiastic, and courteous. OK… we’ve all had great restaurant servers. So what? What else did he do? He BRANDED himself! In a single encounter, he created his own brand (and his own “business”) within the Longhorn Steakhouse restaurant. He is an entrepreneur of sorts.
If he had just introduced himself like all other restaurant servers, I would never have remembered his name. If he had recited the requisite “My name is George, and I’ll be your server. What can I get you to drink?”, the experience would have been unremarkable (even if good service), and I would not have remembered his name 10 seconds later. But, you can bet next time we go back, we will remember and ask for the “Puerto Rican Cowboy!” Freakin’ brilliant!
Show me the money!
As a former waiter myself, I know that repeat customers are where you make your real tip money. Customers who know you and like you always leave nice tips! Get a Saturday night section full of those customers, and it can add up. I’ll bet this guy cleans up every shift.
Write your own script!
Dentists, like restaurant servers, tend to default to the “normal” behavior and standard script. We all do the same thing and say the same things, for the most part. Accordingly, most of us are unremarkable. Some of us make an effort to be remarkable with exemplary service and attention to our patients’ needs. But, do our patients enthusiastically refer their friends? Sure… some do. But, why? The more “whys” we give them, the more they’ll refer, and the more they’ll be motivated to return themselves.
How can you be a “Puerto Rican Cowboy?” If a waiter can brand himself, can you?