A few years ago I was in a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Chicago on Dearborn St. I was sitting with my friend Chris Shefts, and we ordered the usual steak, garlic mash, asparagus, lobster bisque… you know, the works.
It came time for dessert and our server hands me the dessert menu. I see many things on the menu that I didn’t want. What I did want was chocolate chip cookies. So I asked the gentlemen if he had any chocolate chip cookies. He, of course, said, “I’m sorry Mr. Nestor, we do not.”
So I kindly handed him back the menu, and said, “The only thing I’m in the mood for is cookies so I’ll just have the check.” The server leaves the table.
As we were sitting along the glass I see my server crossing the street outside running into the convenient store. A few moments later, he comes running back. A few moments after that, he comes to the table with two giant chocolate chip cookies, chocolate syrup drizzled on the top, and a large glass of ice cold milk.
I was wowed. I was shocked. I thought, “did this guy really just go completely out of his way, spend his own money, just to create a moment for me?”
I went back home, and thought about what that server did that night, and that’s when I had the moment, the Constanza moment. If you don’t know who Constanza is just look at somebody over 30 and they’ll tell you who Constanza is.
There’s an episode where George and Jerry are trying to figure something out, and then George screams… “I GOT IT!!!!”
I realized that the reason Ruth’s Chris is such a phenomenal steak house with locations all over the world is Ruth’s Chris understands one thing. Moments…
Ruth’s Chris didn’t train the server so they could send him out into the restaurant to serve me a steak. They trained him and sent him out into the restaurant to meet a family that has worked their butt off all month and saved some of their discretionary income to come to Ruth’s Chris for possibly once in their lifetime.
(And a family of four, if they had steaks, sides, appetizers, dessert, drinks, and tip would be well over $700.)
They trained and hired him to look for opportunities to create a moment.
You hire for attitude, you train for success.
Training does not fix what HR does not catch.
And when I understood that I understood that Ruth’s Chris didn’t hire him to do a job, they hired him to create a moment, and when you get that understanding, and I mean this figuratively not literally, you can quit your job and go to work because you are in the business of moments, it’s all about making emotional deposits into the emotional bank account of everyone that you serve.