While sitting at Chicago's O'Hare airport in front of a computer/iPhone charging station a few weeks ago, I began to feel angry at the realization that the airline had few options for getting me back home. Moreover, they were unapologetic about the inconvenience.
I succumbed to my situation and began reading the Naples Daily newspaper online. One particular headline hit me very hard and made me realize that all of my personal angst meant nothing. Things could be worse, and eventually I would get back to Naples and my life, as I know it, would go on. But my feelings toward United Airlines may never change, however.
That simple moment made me evaluate the state of customer service. Being inconvenienced is not fun. It can do great damage to a reputation and those hurts run deep.
A few days later I called a meeting with my management team to discuss plans for the fall. On top of the list was how to improve our customer care processes. Specifically, how we take reservations.
It was agreed that Ridgway would promise to provide a reservation for exactly what the customer wants. We've always done our best to accommodate diner requests, but it doesn't go without saying that this process often has glitches.
Regardless of technicalities, we agreed to do the following:
When you call for a side porch table reservation, you will be reserved for just that. However, if no side porch table is available at the time you specify, then we'll let you know when one will be available or provide additional options. You will not be promised something we can not deliver when you arrive!
Our priority is simple: The customer should be treated not only with respect, but also catered to so as to avoid inconvenience.
For those who have been to Third Street and Ridgway in the past few days, you've seen some major construction going on. Our building is undergoing some much-needed work. The garden and side patio will be complete by weeks end and the front porch by early next week. By the time you receive this post, all the construction will be complete.
These renovations are providing Wynne, me and some of our staff with some new fall planting work in the garden. It is a very exciting time for all of us. We will be working with a very clean slate this year, so much to accomplish. When done, it will be one of our most popular dining atmospheres for sure!
A few last minute items to the Ridgway dinner menu will be available by October's end. I am very excited about some of the new offerings. A few that I especially love are: Lamb Trilogy, Spicy Shellfish Stew, Lamb Ribs, Corn Fritters with local honey, and for those that asked, the Mac & Cheese is returning!
Join us for Thanksgiving
Our brunch is a very popular Sunday tradition so we decided to add another day! Starting this Saturday (November 3rd), Ridgway will offer its special brunch on both Saturdays & Sundays from 10am - 2pm!
In addition, we will create a Coffee Bar in the outdoor Courtyard Bar on Saturday & Sunday mornings for guests that want a quick cup of regular or decaf coffee. Specialty coffees, breakfast items including quiche, scones and pastries made on site are available in Tony's. Check out the new Breakfast and Lunch menu HERE.
For those of you who love wine do you have any idea what an asset we have and therefore you have in my partner Sukie Honeycutt? Sukie's wine knowledge is superb. When she talks about the winemakers and the owners, it is because she knows them. Sukie gets excellent allocations because of the long-term business relationships and can help you with those very hard to find wines.
Even more important, Sukie is bringing excellent value wines to Tony's Off Third. Everyday wines that you will be proud to pour and where will find great value. Sukie is happy to work with you on your special purchases and her staff at Tony's can help you as well.
Tony's Off Third wine selections are not the deeply discounted wines you see all over. They are simply the wines you want to drink at good prices!
If you are a Pinot Noir lover, stroll through the store and seek out the more than 80 labels specifically selected for you.
Sukie is also hosting a few special wine tastings in the next few weeks.
An Italian Wine Seminar is scheduled for November 14 (registration open) and the 14th Annual Champagne & Sparkler Tasting will be on December 7th (registration opens Nov. 19).
The fall looks to be great and as I write this, the first morning low is under 70. Life is good and my priorities are in order.
We hope to see you soon!