Friday April 23, 2010
MJ Flanagan shares a recent experience of fantastic standards and service.
Last Saturday I found myself sitting in a pub on Kings Road that has become an institution in its own right. I was there with my family watching Chelsea win and having a fantastic time. I recently blogged about a restaurant just the other end of the Kings Road, also an institution, that had seemingly lost its way - if we are to believe the press. Apparently it has become complacent and relies on its previous successes. Well, The Big Easy couldn’t be more different.
So what made The Big Easy so good? They always had a reputation for cold beer, great margaritas and good food - and it has not changed. We were wandering down the Kings Road deciding where to take our eight-year-old son to watch the game; when we passed this well-known establishment. It was bustling at only 6pm - not only with families but a varied crowd of Sloanes, couples, after workers, and pre-partiers. This eclectic mix provided a friendly, and inclusive environment.
We were greeted immediately and told there was a waiting list of half an hour - maybe sooner, if he could - and to please wait at the bar. Although busy I was served very quickly with a big smile by the barman who was knowledgeable and enthusiastic. He had to change a barrel so he offered to bring the drinks over to us where we were seated. He asked if we were dining and offered to bring over the menus. All three barmen were setting up for what was going to be a busy shift but everyone was served quickly and the place was spotless. I detected no gripes and moans which you can often pick up from the interaction between bar and waiting staff - especially somewhere that has been going for so long.
The barman asked if we were there for the game, and since we were he found us a table near the bar where we could easily see the screen. He had taken complete responsibility for our table, providing a really personal service, offering fantastic knowledgeable suggestions and being very attentive regardless of how busy they were getting. It was really great to see him offering that same standard of customer service to everyone else there too.
Our food arrived quickly - as did more drinks – followed by the obligatory check back. Each time along he came with a huge grin. When I told him how good he was he explained he arrived from Poland last year and although hard work he really enjoyed what he was doing. Although he did point out we had caught him on a good day. Cue cheeky grin!
When we left, I couldn’t help thinking what a fantastic example of service and standards. It’s impressive to see when a restaurant or bar is successful - or has become a local institution – and doesn’t sit on its laurels. Instead, is still delivering the best.
Success is a simple recipe: great attentive positive service; good cold drinks - made well and not watered down; quality products and tasty food served quickly.
Lets share some positive stories! Where have you had a fantastic experience lately and what made it so good?