Exceptional Client Experience- Las Vegas Joe’s Stone Crab

I wanted to talk about a story of an Exceptional Client Experience my wife, Elika and I recently had at a restaurant.  As many of you may know, I’m a bit of a foodie.  My wife and I eat out quite a bit, usually with our son.  We are used to good, bad and indifferent service experiences at restaurants.  This recent one was exceptional.  We were watching the Travel Channel during the week and saw this episode featuring Joe’s Stone Crab Claws in Miami.

I find out that they have the same exact restaurant here in Las Vegas, located at Ceasar’s palace.  I surprise my wife and take her out on a Saturday night.  Unfortunately it was the same weekend that the Billboard awards were in town and there was over a 2 hour wait.  Thomas, the Maitre D’, humbly apologized, but there was no way to get us in sooner.  I explained to him that it was our first date night in a long time.  I surprised my wife with a sitter, we recently saw the Stone Crabs on T.V. and really craved it etc…He asked us to wait by the bar and he would see what he could do.  We figured we could see some industry people so we went to the bar and waited.  I think I see Carley Rae Jepsen here.  Darn, I have that song now in my head… “Hey I just met you, call me crazy, so here’s my number, so call me maybe…”  20mins later, Thomas comes by and says he could seat us and thanked us for the wait.  He knows how it was to get out on a date night and wanted to accommodate us.

From the start, we were given the VIP treatment.  As our server, Ashley, was placing the napkins on our lap, she noticed I had dark pants.  I usually request a dark napkin, but she immediately said “I’ll go and get you a dark napkin” without hesitation.  Knowing and predicting my needs before requesting, sign of great customer service.  Another mark of an exceptional restaurant is that they left my wife and I alone most of the time.  This gave us the opportunity to talk and spend time together without interruption.  This is not to say they were not attentive.  They were more than attentive, but they did it in the background.   They worked as a team.  The person filling our water, the person bringing our bread, the person clearing out table, everyone was exceptional.  They knew exactly what was needed at our table and would rarely need to ask.  I would look down and have a fresh glass of ice tea.  Working as  team to help each other to make sure the client experience was exceptional.

Obviously we were there for the Stone Crab Claws, but Ashley made a suggestion of their signature table side Cole Slaw.  Cole Slaw?  She said we would not regret it and she would make it personally.  The Stone Crab was obviously amazing.  Sweet, succulent and delectable, with a hint of tang and heat on the back of the palate from their homemade mustard sauce.   When I die, I want heaven to be made of marshmallows, rainbows and Stone Crab Claws from Joe’s!  And she was right, I absolutely loved the table side Cole Slaw.  Here is pic of what heaven on a plate looks like:

When the meal was finally over, Ashley comes over to the table and brings over 2 bowls with a hot towel and lemon in each bowl.  She squeezes the lemon on our hands for us and we proceed to clean our hands with the towels.  This was going above and beyond on the service.  As we were done with our dinner and leaving, Thomas asked “Mr. & Mrs. Chan, where you happy with your experience here tonight?”  I explained how it was one of the most exceptional times at a restaurant I’ve had and would be telling everyone about it.  He handed me his card and thanked us for joining them that night.  I keep this card as a reminder of what an Exceptional Client Experience is like, even at a restaurant.

What were some of the lessons I learned from this experience:

  • Be flexible.  Find a way to “yes” and accommodate your clients as best you can.  Thomas found a way to make it a special night for my wife and I, even with a crazy busy weekend.  He didn’t just blow us off, but rather, found a way to make it happen.
  • Predict needs and deliver before the client asks.  Be Proactive.  Ashley and her staff predicted what we needed before we even asked.  The dark napkin, refreshing our drinks, knowing what my likes would be in regards to the food.  They were very proactive.
  • Work as a team. Never let them see you sweat.  They were very collaborative and respectful to each other as a team.  It was an incredibly busy night, but you could never tell.  They never let the stress dictate their service and they helped each other pick up where the last person left off.  Everyone pitched in when needed.
  • Make the Client feel like a VIP.  Make them the center of the Universe.  Even though it was an extremely busy night.  One could never tell from the service.  They were quick, prompt and proactive.  They made my wife and I feel like we were the only 2 people in the entire restaurant.
  • Go above and beyond to make the Client Experience an Event.  Don’t forget the little things.  From the moment we sat down, to the constant attention without asking, to even squirting the lemon a the end of the meal.  Doing the  little things to make our experience a bit more exceptional!

This was truly an exceptional client experience that I turn to inspire and learn from to better what we do everyday.  As my wife and I strolled out into the hotel, I think I still saw Carley Rae Jepsen waiting at the bar…Man, that song is back in my head…”Hey I just met you, this is crazy…”




  1. Tori Collins says:

    That was awesome service, Simon! It made your date night even more special! Thanks for sharing your experience!

  2. Simon – This is a great example of an exceptional client experience. Thanks for sharing!

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