Charles is the manager at the Apex, NC, Red Robin where a very pregnant customer was surprised with a comped meal. He started out with the company seven years ago as a server before working his way up to a management role he’s enjoyed for more than two years.
He says that while this instance might be making headlines around the country, it’s certainly not the first time someone at his restaurant has done something nice for a customer.
According to Charles, it’s what folks in the Red Robin culture call an “Unbridled Act,” and that the company encourages this sort of positive behavior.
“Treating our guests in a way that’s special and unlike anything they’ll experience at other restaurants helps us stand apart in a world where there are many options for dining out,” he explains. “Our goal is to create lasting memories for the individuals and families who visit our restaurants.”
He claims he never expected his little $11.50 gesture of kindness to an expecting mother would make national headlines. As for why he thinks people are passing the story around, especially when negative news tends to get more notice from the public, Charles says, “I think people enjoy sharing uplifting stories about something positive and unexpected that happens to someone.”
For Charles, customer interaction is about connecting with guests on a personal level.
“Listen to them, and make sure they leave feeling appreciated and valued,” he tells Consumerist. “If our guests know we welcome their feedback, I think they’ll talk with us and speak up even if it’s to say they had a positive and satisfying experience with us, and hopefully also to say they’ll be back again soon.”
So what can other businesses — and consumers in general — take away from this story? Charles says it’s about showing the positive impact of a random act of kindness and “how easy it is to make someone’s day special.”