Last week my wife and I were invited to a surprise birthday dinner for four at the Culinary Center in Canandaigua.  We have eaten there before and my friend, whose birthday it was, is a big fan of the establishment.  As the reservation was made over a month ahead, we called the restaurant on the day before in order to confirm the reservation.  To our shock, not only did they not have the reservation but the second floor restaurant was schedule to be closed so that a charity benefit could take place on the first floor.  What do we do now?

To our amazement the new manager promptly called us back with a selection of solutions.  A selection?  Worst case I would have expected them to only apologize.  Another restaurant may have gone above and beyond by issuing a small gift certificate.  Instead, to keep their company’s reputation high with us, they offered choices that could only result in a positive outcome.

The manager said that they had a note about the reservation but for what ever reason it never got formerly placed in their system.  In return, he created three amazing offers for us to choose from:  1)  We could reschedule for the next day and eat for FREE 2)  We could order off of the menu and they would DELIVER the food (40 minute drive) to us or 3) We could come in during the benefit and eat by ourselves in the restaurant.

We ended up coming in as scheduled (since it was a surprise) and had an amazing meal.  Even though many influential people attended the party below us, the manager himself waited on us very attentively along with a designated waitress.  He took an accidental situation that had the potential to tarnish his company’s image and turned it into a unique and memorable experience.  Having this amount of freedom as a manager coupled with his ability to create solutions on the fly is an exceptional situation to find.  Kudos to the Culinary Center!