While I always enjoy having a romantic Valentine’s Day with my sweetie (who always plys me with roses and chocolate covered pretzels), I’ve often thought that the holiday should be a time of exhibiting kindness to others. While some people have had unfortunate brushes with brusque service at restaurants, others have been happily surprised by those small acts of kindness which show that a restaurant is willing to go the extra mile. I have had two of these positive experiences recently.
My first brush with kindness was at the Cosi restaurant in Mount Laurel. Cosi is a casual chain known for their tasty sandwiches, pizzas and salads. I stopped there with my elderly mother, who had recently been widowed. Although Cosi is not a full service white tablecloth kind of place, they must have sensed that Mom could use a pick me up. An older gentleman delivered our salads and fussed over Mom like there was no tomorrow. This brightened her day at a time when she really needed it. More recently, the cashier at the same Cosi location noticed that I had a long wait for the pizza I had ordered at the end of a long work day. Although I had not complained about the wait, he apologized and dropped 2 chocolate chip cookies in my bag at no charge.
We’ve also had great treatment at our local branch of the McCormick & Schmick’s seafood chain in Cherry Hill. After one meal, we were invited to visit their adjoining steakhouse concept restaurant (William Douglas) for complimentary after dinner drinks and dessert-a nice getting to know you gesture. And for my recent birthday, they brought the Creme Brulee that I had ordered plus a chocolate cup with strawberry mousse on a nicely decorated “Happy Birthday” plate. In neither instance were they aware that I was a food blogger-they just knew how to build customer loyalty.
In an era when great customer service is not always a given, the kindness that I found at these two restaurants made me want to return. If you have had a recent experience with a restaurant that has gone the extra mile, please leave a comment below or on the Jersey Bites Facebook page.
Beth Christian subsisted primarily on cheeseburgers and liverwurst sandwiches during childhood and refused to try most new foods. Her culinary horizons were expanded during her college days in Schenectady, New York, where she learned the joys of trying slow-simmered Italian dishes, Szechuan cuisine, and everything in between. When not engaged in the practice of law in Monmouth County, Beth is busy scouting out interesting restaurants, farmer’s markets and food purveyors near her home in Burlington County. Beth’s primary dining sidekick is her husband John, but she also enjoys having her daughter Meghan, son Michael and her wonderful friends come along for the ride. Email Beth at [email protected]