Now I know a greezy plate of fried fish is not the healthiest choice, but I can afford a few calories - and it tastes a WHOLE lot better than rice cakes.
When I walked in the front door of this Captain D's (same front door I remember from a while back...door handles were always a little slippery) I knew I was someplace special. Everyone greeted me sincerely, really, like they honestly were happy I had come in - not just because the manual said they had to greet me. The place was pretty full for after 1pm on a week day and just about every diner who could see me turned a little and smiled as if to welcome me into the club. It was not an odd look or stare, just a "welcome" smile that was very inviting. The lady at the counter greeted me affectionately as "hun" just like she did everyone else who walked through the door. The cooks in the back nodded "hello," the lady making the tea asked how many lemons I wanted, and everyone seemed naturally nice. "Why does this seem so odd," I'm thinking.
There were conversations across the counter and into the dining room - asking about the days' events, weekend plans, children, grandchildren, car trouble, hospital stays. I began to realize that this crowd comes in a LOT. People came and went and each one was a family member. There was nothing special about this particular Captain D's except that, whether they knew it or not, these particular employees had created something we don't see much of and all of us crave:
Every diner felt like this was THEIR place. They were welcome. They were appreciated. They were important. And this crew made it happen for me in just one visit!
What makes people want to eat at Captain D's in Auburn, Alabama - and keeps them coming back - is COMMUNITY. And therein lies the challenge: what type of COMMUNITY have you created in your business? Is it worthy of people coming home too?