Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
Roberta Matuson's Blog


Dessert at the Chatham Bars Inn

Why is it that businesses seek perfect levels of customer service, yet few are able to achieve this goal consistently? I have my theories on this, which I will explain after I share with you my definition of perfection all around.

When is the last time you dined out at a restaurant where everything was exceptional. No ifs, ands or buts? Yes, the food may have been great, but perhaps the service was spotty or the snooty hostess made you feel like she was doing you a favor giving you a table? Inconsistent service happens all the time. Just read the reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor and you’ll see what I mean.

In this day and age of social media, businesses can’t afford to rest on their laurels. Service may have been great last week, but if it’s not perfect this week you may have a problem on your hands for all to see.

Last night, my husband and I dined at the Chatham Bars Inn, where for the first time in a long time we experienced perfection. It began with the person answering the phone who gladly fit us in for dinner, in spite of the fact that we didn’t book weeks in advance. In fact, we called several hours before our arrival. The person parking our car greeted us as in a professional way. The staff, who was busy serving the weekend crowd, wore smiles the entire time. We asked and we received a table by the window. None of this, “Sorry, but you didn’t call six months in advance to reserve a special table” bit.

Our waiter, whose name was Orlando, was the finest server we’ve ever had. This man is a professional wait person who trains for his job daily. His recommendations were spot on and his description of every plate that arrived on the tasting menu reminded us of an expert in art  describing the details of a masterpiece painting. Every dish was memorable and every bite made my taste buds dance. The menu, especially the desserts, were unlike any we have ever seen. “Sushi” for dessert? Corn? Simply amazing. But I digress.

Yes, there is a price tag for this perfection and it doesn’t come cheaply. But I would rather spend one evening here and experience perfection, then two nights out at a mediocre place. I’m betting others agree as the resort was full, in spite of what others call “a tough economy.”

Here’s why I believe this organization is successful:

  • They hire the best. (You can do this too.)
  • Those who don’t make it are swiftly shown the door.
  • Staff meetings are held frequently so that employees are fully informed.
  • They train each employee, regardless of position. They couldn’t have pulled off the experience we had last night if people were confused about their jobs.
  • They allow their people to be creative. You won’t find Key Lime pie on the dessert menu or NY Cheesecake. The pastry chef and the head chef have been given the freedom to create something no one else has.
  • They care about their reputation.
  • Leaders are visible.

These are all things any business can do, so why do so few even try? I don’t know, but now that I’ve tasted perfection, I can assure you that I will return.


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