Since launching these monthly newsletters last year, we’ve received feedback from some of our guests that they like hearing more about restaurant news and upcoming events. If that’s you, here’s my shameless plug on why you should dine with us: starting today, we are launching a new program, highlighting suppliers each month. In September, we start with mushrooms, and the dishes that our chef team created are outstanding. The Tempura Maitake Mushroom appetizer or Crème Sautéed Chanterelles (fantastic accompaniment to steak or seafood) are both incredible in presentation and bursting with flavor. Please join us at any of our restaurants this month to enjoy these bites.
September is Bourbon Heritage month, and to celebrate we’re offering a Bourbon Dinner on Sept 15th at El Gaucho Seattle. It’s already sold out, but we have a wait list if you’re interested. Because of the popularity, we are adding another later this fall in Portland as well – stay tuned for details.
On a different note, I’d like to share a story that transpired over last week. We had a family join us at one of our restaurants to celebrate a 19th birthday. After they departed, when they realized a birthday card with $100 inside was left at the table. They returned, but the table had been cleared. After digging through the trash, our team found the card, but no money. We were at a loss, but given it was a birthday celebration, we wanted to make it whole, and gave them a $100 bill to replace it (I love the team that works for us).
Our guests were still not satisfied and wanted to know if someone was going to be fired for stealing the money. It was troubling that the money was missing, but we had no proof or evidence that anyone took it. The guests threatened to sue, trash us on social media, and to cause a ruckus because they disagreed with how we handled the situation. Needless to say, we were distraught. One of our bussers was so upset he got physically sick. We thought we did the right thing by being responsive and making them whole that night.
Two days later, we received an email from a guest, who had traveled from New York and dined with us that same evening, letting us know he found a $100 bill under a dining room chair that night on his way to the restroom. He thought it was his lucky day, until he went home and told his wife what had happened. She, being a former server in years past, told him that the money belonged to someone else, that the server may have been short, and to return it.
He sent a money order for $100 along with his sincere apology. When we shared the story with our birthday guests, they apologized profusely and, thankfully, will continue to dine with us. What’s the moral of the story? My hope is that we give each other the benefit of the doubt. One of our brand pillars is “stewardship,” and it’s really what we have built our success on. At the end of the day it is how we all, as human beings, should treat one another.
Until Next Time,
Chad Mackay | President & COO