Last night we had dinner at Guy Fieri's in Branson. It was around 7ish and the place was packed. Even so, we were promptly greeted with friendly faces and received excellent service. Upon arriving, there seemed to be one, maybe two, people seating guests. At one point a new guy walked up and started seating. I didn't think much of it.
After getting to our table, the same guy was bussing the table next to us and he asked if we had been waited on yet. We hadn't. As he continued to clear the table (with a smile on his face and a pep in his step), he made some menu suggestions and told us what his favorites were. Before walking away, he said, "Dakota is your waitress and she will be with you shortly." And he was off!
Dakota arrived and was as sweet as could be. She had recently returned to work from maternity leave and was working on getting back into the swing of things. As with the other guy, she was all smiles! Dakota was friendly and had a great personality. She also made some menu suggestions.
I had decided on the Cobb Salad (minus the blue cheese - YUCK!!!), but unfortunately it wasn't available. I was a little disappointed, but there were so many delicious item on the menu, it didn't take long to make a selection (per Dakota's recommendation). I ended up getting the Motley Que Pulled Pork (Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives). It was fantastical and it made my mouth happy with every bite!! Steve opted for the Bacon Mac-N-Cheese Burger - also delish! And James went with the good ole original Cajun Chicken Alfredo (Yep, tasted it too!! Yum!!!)
We let our waitress know we were celebrating James' birthday. I was hoping they'd sing to him, but what he got was waaaaaay cooler! That same guy from before, the one who seemed to be happily wearing a variety of hats, came over and asked James how he liked his dish (one of his recommendations). Then (here comes the cool part), he said Guy had visited a while back (filming some stuff) and had autographed a few stickers. He gave one to James along with a little sticker from the restaurant. It made James' day!!
I ended up asking Dakota who the guy was. She said it was the restaurant manager, Richard. She went on to tell us what a blessing he'd been throughout her pregnancy / maternity leave process and the struggle with returning to work. From all she said, it seems like Richard is a manager anyone would like to work for. He leads with passion. He cares about his customers. He stepped up (or down) and met the needs of his team (even if it wasn't his "job") with a smile on his face. That my friends is the heart of a servant leader.
Having worked in the service industry for much of my life, I know the struggle is real. Sometimes it's hard to remember, "the customer is always right." Life happens. People can be rude. You guys at Guy Fieri's Branson ROCK!!! Thank you Richard, Dakota, and all others in the service industry for your hard work and good attitudes.