Last week, we knew a family that visits Derry regularly was preparing to lose their mother. They expected her to pass last week. When they were in tonight, Ed Williams, his wife, sister, brother in law and son were dining and regretted to inform us that his mother had held on another week and was lost to them yesterday. Sorry to hear the news I thought it would be a good opportunity to continue my goal to complete RAK week. I offered my condolences and said we would like to do something nice to share our support and took care of the food items on their check. I then asked the two (brother and sister ) that had lost their mother to share a RAK certificate in honor of their mother and do something nice in her name. Some hugs and tears later, one had passed a RAK certificate along on their way out to another very regular and close family Steve and Sandy Burl and children Sophia and Sam. They also passed along the the Random Acts of Kindness (see next post) The Williams’ were very grateful and overwhelmed with the love and support they felt from all of us and made sure to come see myself and Andre on their way out.
After I made my RAK #4 of RAK week, I noticed one of our very very regular guests and good friends (The Burl’s ) had a RAK certificate on their table tonight. Knowing they share everything about their experiences with me I knew I hadn’t heard about them being RAK’d. I had made an appearance at another table with a RAK and they immediately paid it forward in house with this family. One of our KM’s Dave Rocca made the Burl’s a special Bernaise Sauce for their steaks and when they heard he had made a special Meatloaf Dinner for another guest that was getting anxious, Steve Burl paid it forward twice and gave them their RAK certificate so they would be extra happy and patient knowing their meal was worth waiting for. I visited the table after their server had brought the surprise RAK over and checked on their created meal and without a doubt they were so very happy! It was Nice to see the RAK unfold a few times over stemming from a table that needed a little happiness in their day (see RAK #4)
A few months ago, a family that is long time regular visitors of Derry, lost their middle son to suicide. One of our servers, Amber, dated their oldest son, Tommy for many many years so she was extremely close to the family as were nearly all our bartenders. The loss of Joey was tremendous to this family and spread deeply throughout our store. When they visited Christie could tell his Mom had been crying and asked if I could do something. We made it very casual as to not stir up what was was already weighing on her but I went over and said I wanted to make a kind guesture to make them smile and ask them to do something nice for someone completely random with the same idea. I let them know I was hoping to keep up RAK week moving forward and hope she will come in to tell me their story. I said keep it on you and save it for when you want to pay it forward. Maybe on a really hard day she will remember she can do something completely random just for the sake of it and it will bring her happiness. It can’t be easy finding ways to make you smile when you don’t want to
We had a family dining the other night that had dined for the first time with us. (lightbult perfect RAK table) I overheard them talking about how great their server was and injected myself into the conversation. The server happened to be very new and so I caught them on the way out by accident with a RAK certificates. I let them know a little bit about our company’s community interests and our RAK program and asked them to keep the RAK week going with their pay it forward Certificate. I then invited them to come back and dine with us again and enjoy another meal with us in hopes of earning their regular status with our Derry Location so presented them with a Gift Certificate. We hope to see them soon
Happy Monday Happy National RAK Week In honor of the first day of RAK week I chose the last guest in the lounge tonight. I recognized a guest I’ve seen many times but having not worked on the bar before I was not on a first name basis with this gentlemen. He’s always smiling, pleasant and engaging with the bartenders. So I introduced myself and shared my excitement for celebrating a week that gives people a chance to do something nice for absolutely no reason other than they can. He already has someone in mind that he thinks will be a worthy recipient of a RAK certificate to pay it forward and after some idle chit chat he thanked me for such an awesome way to end his night. He was only in for a beer and pizza and instead left with the excitement to do something nice for someone. He sought me out for one last thank you and to assure me He was going to make someone’s day. Happy RAK week. 6 more to come 🙂
The other day on my way out Tina approached me to let me know a couple was dining after just getting married. They came in to celebrate with a couple snacks and margaritas. As they finished up Tina and I joined them at the table to wish them well, many years of a happy marraige and to let them know we wanted to make their day a little more exciting. I picked up the food items on the check and presented them with a $50 Gift Certificate so they could come back out to dinner and asked them for their first job as newleyweds to find someone to present a random act of kindness and pay it forward with one of our RAK GCs. The husband was super emotional and both were very grateful. They were really shocked we did such a thing and will be back to share their story of their RAK
We had a guest that came in for their anniversary and was asking what we did for Anniversaries as they were hoping for a little extra special something. They felt a little “off put” by the servers response so I went over to smooth things out. I explained the email club signup and that we have different promotions that come during anniversary months like the birthday coupon. So since they had a snowflake coupon they would not have been able to participate in those coupons regardless and that’s what the server was trying to convey but it came out with the guest feeling a little slighted unintentionally. I said we would love to make their night however and do a little something better than a coupon and I picked up their check. It wasn’t much as they wanted to share a meal (they thought it was cute :)) I had them each select a dessert and went to make it for them to take home. I packed it up for them, brought it over with a candle (her birthday had just passed) and gave them a Gift Certificate for the amount of the snowflake they had scratched. I wished them many more years together and told them go enjoy their cake – we had picked up tonight’s meal. She was overwhelmed and apologized for taking it the wrong way when the server tried to explain. We made their night and they left smiling ear to ear holding hands 🙂
So today I had a job shadow with a student from Pinkerton Academy. She was sitting with me logging the PFG order when she noticed an older woman sitting alone and felt for this lady. I told her she could go over and ask her if she wanted to join her for dessert and offer her something sweet. She was super apprehensive and nervous about how to go about it so despite my RAK this week already, I told her about our program and allowed her to approach with the RAK instead of alone without purpose. She was Mic’d up with me during the day so I encouraged her along the way as she finally walked over (I was watching on the camera) and sat down!! Amber, her server, came over and said the woman was beaming with happiness over someone to share her time. 40!!!! minutes later the student asked me to come over to the table and the woman told me how they had been talking…talking about how the world goes round, how the world is different now and how she can learn to live in it. She had woke up that day asking God for someone to share that with and here she was spending this time with this lovely young lady and how happy it made her. When she asked me for her server to bring the check I realized the student hadn’t even told her that part yet and let her know what we were doing for her and it just made the whole experience even more valuable. She thanked me and gave me some advice of my own as the young lady was actually my daughter 🙂 It was really awesome to watch it unfold and see how happy it made both people. Proud mama moment right here.
**Warning** You may want to have tissues Most people have felt the loss cancer can bring in some varying form. The onset can be the scariest part….not knowing if your prognosis is correct, not knowing if you will see your children grow up, or if you will grow old with your spouse. I can’t imagine experiencing it on a first person level. I have only experienced the scare as it plagued my mother and father but both survived with aggressive surgeries and minimal long term effects. When Jessica approached me and shared she was just in a conversation with a guest about his families troubles, I couldn’t not react in some way to say we care deeply for your family and this most difficult time- what can we do… This gentlemen was dining with his wife. She was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer. She is thankfully expected to live but you can see the cancer has taken the liveliness from her. What can be more heartbreaking than seeing your wife suffer through treatment? Your daughter being diagnosed a day apart with Stage 4 and not expected to make it. While the mother is suffering through her battle she and her husband have taken her daughter in with her kids and husband who is a marine and not home at all times. (I believe he is expected to take leave soon to be home through the next stages). The daughter is unable to eat, nor wishes to eat anything other than Mashed Potatoes preferably from here so we bought her all the mashed potatoes she will ever want. We took care of the couples tab and shared a card for them to give to their daughter with GCs in it attached to a note to recieve all the Mashed potatoes her heart desires. There is not a random act of kindness big enough to take the worry and pain away from this family but as they were leaving and sought me out to thank me, I knew that small guesture was greatly appreciated and when the mother smiled just a little bit with the sign of tears in her eyes I was grateful for the rush of a busy shift.
Tonight I received a phone call in regards to a guests’ experience in Derry. She explained she had a very long day and was stuck in horrible traffic on 93 so came in to eat to escape the traffic, relax and kind of decompress from the day. She was with her daughter and just needed to come in for some food and wrap up her day with a drink before going home. She continued to stress how she needed to just have a nice meal. I started to feel like she was about to tell me of a horrible experience when she just needed to have an enjoyable time for whatever reason. I could hear the shakiness in her voice. What followed made me incredibly proud of my server. Tara took wonderful care of this mother and daughter. Made them feel well “taken care of”. She was kind and friendly and made their experience worth the stop. See, What had happened that day was enough to exhaust and deplete anyone. They spent the day at CMC. Her husband had Bi-Pass Surgery that day and although it went well it was a terrifying day. They experienced exactly what they needed. When Tara came over with the check she delivered a chocolate cake and said after a long hard day you deserve to have a piece of chocolate cake. Maybe that will make you feel a little better once you’ve made it home. Tara could sense her sadness and just made one very simple gesture to try to make her smile. It was so heartwarming and to think Tara didn’t know anything about this woman’s day but was moved to do something kind. The woman did all she could to not be moved to tears inside the restaurant and waited to get home to call me and thank me for Tara’s Random Act of Kindness. After she shared her story and wanted to make sure I knew how special Tara’s experience was with this woman I asked her for her address and am sending her a Gift Certificate so she and her husband can come out to eat and dine in once he’s recovered and home. They of course will ask for Tara. This isn’t my typical RAK story done on my own but certainly worth leaving here as it embodies everything our RAKs stand for. I will be reading the story at premeal and give her a gift certificate in front of her peers so she can know how special she is and what she did for this woman and her daughter on a most difficult day. I’ll share it on Staff Matters once I’ve made a big deal about it “in house” 🙂