At Your Service: A barman’s honour
By Russ Dantu
Chuck Rose has been a very good friend of mine for many years now. He recently sold the Hose and Hound Neighborhood Pub in Inglewood, Calgary. He’d owned it for many years and did very well with it, unlike many bar owners.
By Russ Dantu
He had several long-time employees who he looked after very nicely, both financially and with ongoing training. He always paid them more than industry standard, always gave them a bonus and always tried to work the schedule the way everyone wanted it.
He also had many regular customers who would frequent his establishment three or four times per week. These were not drunks, but rather people who would bring their clients in for lunch or maybe they’d stop by for a cold one on the way home from work and have a chat with the other regulars and Chuck if he was there.
Chuck lives a few blocks away and, if he wasn’t there, the staff knew to phone him at any time of the day or night if they needed assistance. There were many times when Chuck would head over to help with the noon-hour rush cleaning tables, washing dishes or helping cook. On busy nights when he would get a call, he’d hop into bartender mode or help wherever he was needed. He was known as a fair and caring boss and a great businessman who truly cared about his patrons. He was known as a man of character and a man of integrity. He also helped revitalize the community of Inglewood from being a scary place to go many years ago to the thriving, hip, business community it is today.
A few years back, The Hose and Hound was robbed mid-afternoon. The culprit pepper-sprayed some of the employees and patrons before making off with a sizable amount of money. When Chuck got the call, he was there within minutes. Some owners may have worried about how much money they lost. Not Chuck. He was more concerned with his employees and customers. They closed up shop while the investigation took place. He made sure his employees and customers were treated for their injuries. He gave them as much time off as they needed and took care of any counselling they needed. He also offered free meals and drinks to anyone who was there that day. This further added to his integrity.
The amazing thing is that some of his regulars went searching in the direction the culprit left and actually found a bag of money that he must have dropped while running away. They immediately brought it to Chuck. You can imagine how touched he was that they did this. I believe many people would have picked it up and thought of it as their lucky day. The guys who did this said Chuck had always treated them like gold so why would they do anything differently than what they did.
When you look at your employees and customers, how do you think they view you? Are you just a boss who gives them a paycheque? Do you try to cut corners at their expense, just to save a few dollars? Do you get to know your customers on more than a business level? Are you a man or woman of integrity?
I have lunch with Chuck about every month or so. We usually dine somewhere in Inglewood. It’s amazing how many people come up to say hello to him. He’s left an amazing legacy in that community and beyond. Long term employees are rare these days. Customers who become friends are even more rare. Anyone who wants to up their game in the area of customer service can learn from Chuck and the way he conducted his business.
Russ Dantu is a 30-year veteran of the rental industry and has been delivering workshops, seminars and keynotes on customer servicce for over 15 years. For more information, visit russdantu.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org