Do you know what all Business-Builders know?

Do you do what all Business-Builders do?


If you knew what all Business-Builders know, would you be willing to do what all Business-Builders do?

Are you willing to do something out of the ordinary to exceed expectations for the sake of customer experiences? How willing are you to treat your customers the way you want to be treated?

On Saturday afternoon, my wife and I met friends at the Olive Garden in Fayetteville, Georgia, one of our favorite restaurants.

The people are nice, the service is good, and we know the manager, Amanda Shropshire.

Did I mention that we also like the food?

When we were seated, I looked over the menu. I always look at the menu, then order my favorite, the Tour of Italy.

As I thought about our early experiences at Olive Garden, I remembered my all-time favorite dish, Veal Parmigiana. I like the Chicken Parmigiana they serve, but Saturday as I looked at the menu, I thought more and more about the Veal Parmigiana. I just couldn’t get it off my mind, so I shifted my focus to the beef items. Braised Beef & Tortelloni caught my attention.

What would happen if I ask them to cook me a Braised Beef Parmigiana?

What would the server say? Would she be afraid to even ask in the kitchen? If she did, what would be the chef’s response?

Many times I have seen menus with “No Substitutes” in large capital letters; I searched for it and couldn’t find it on the Olive Garden menu.

I should remind you that before I retired, I had 47 years experience in the foodservice industry. I understood that in a restaurant chain, what I was asking drives the accounting, supply chain, internal security and IT people crazy. They want to know every detail of every ingredient in every recipe item for everything on the menu so they can maintain cost and inventory controls for orderly management of the business. That’s their job. It’s what they get paid to do.

I wondered, what will our the server, Kenya Hendricks, say if I ask her, “Can you get the folks in the kitchen to make me a Braised Beef Parmigiana?” So, I asked.

“Kenya, could you get the folks in the kitchen to make the Parmigiana with Braised Beef rather than Chicken?”

She looked at me and smiled. It was a big, warm smile of confidence. “I know some higher-ups back there.”

My Braised Beef Parmigiana was delicious! I can’t wait to get back for some more.

The next time, which will be soon, that we go to Olive Garden, I will ask for Kenya.

You also may want to ask for Kenya. If you do, be prepared to give her a big tip. She will earn it.

Kenya and her manager Amanda do what all Business-Builders do; they focus on customer satisfaction. They want every customer to leave so satisfied they want to return soon.

Here is what Amanda told me. “If you take care of your team, they will take care of your guests. We are empowering and challenging the team to be guest focused and then praising and rewarding them for it.” Isn’t that clear and simple!

Like all Business-Builders, they know that customer satisfaction is the most important factor in achieving success. It does not matter what type of business you have!

Business building is not complicated! It is simple!

Love your customers and treat them the way you want to be treated!

That’s …

What all Business-Builders


and Do!

Think about your business for a moment and answer these questions:

  • Are you willing to exceed expectations for the sake of memorable customer experiences?
  • Is your team flexible when confronted with unusual or unique requests?
  • Have you empowered them to make good decisions?
  • Do you take care of them, support them, and reward them?

We would love to hear from you. Tells us how you do it — how do you teach your team to love your customers and treat them the way you want to be treated?

Jimmy Collins

The stories I tell are true and from my real-life experiences.  I never use actual names without permission.  Where appropriate, names have been changed to protect individual privacy.