I have long been a fan of the casual dining restaurant chain Red Lobster. The food is tasty and reasonably priced, the environment is family oriented and the service is consistently good.
This past week my wife and I made the trip to Waterloo, Iowa for a court hearing to finalize the adoption of our youngest son, Bryce. Here is a wonderful photo taken at the conclusion of the hearing.
On our return to the hotel we noticed a Red Lobster located just across the street. It was our destination for a celebratory lunch.
During the meal we struck up a nice conversation with our server and mentioned why we were in town. She passed the word along to the restaurant’s manager who then personally delivered our meal from the kitchen to introduce himself and express his best wishes.
That type of personal interaction is exactly what I would expect in a customer service oriented industry like hospitality.
Red Lobster’s manager then did one better. When I asked for the check at the conclusion of the meal, the server informed me that lunch was complimentary in recognition of Bryce’s adoption.
The word “classy” immediately came to mind. The manager knew we were from out of town and likely never to return to his restaurant.
It made his gesture genuine, sincere and self-less. That is high class and I suspect why Red Lobster’s parent company (Darden Restaurants) is recognized by Fortune as one of the best companies to work for.
Full Definition of CLASSY
: having or showing class: as
b : having or reflecting high standards of personal behavior <a classy guy> <a classy gesture>
c : admirably skillful and graceful <a classy outfielder>
— class·i·ness noun
Correction: Red Lobster is owned by a private equity firm called Golden Gate Capital. Here is a link to the press release that announced the transaction in July 2014.