Every Sunday, I have a personal tradition to finish my weekend at a favorite dining spot. It’s mostly come from being one of the last unmarried guys in my friend group. Awhile ago, unable to get someone to accompany me for lunch, I had a moment of clarity and realized all I needed was a book and I was all set. I could go wherever I want, so I just jump in the car and go. It’s come to be one of my favorite parts of the week.
Most of my Sunday outings take place at a little place just on the outskirts of Minneapolis called the Uptown Diner. They serve your typical greasy spoon fare, with dishes like Eggs Benedict, Steak and Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy. It’s delicious. Their coffee is fantastic. Their service is unique, that is to say it’s not great, not horrible, but it has character. It’s like every time I ask for something, my server acts like he just happens to have everything available for me. I sit at the counter, and a server approaches, sometimes right away, sometimes they take their time.
An exchange typically goes like this:
Server: “What can I get you?”
Me: “Coffee, cream and sugar”
Server: “Oh yeah, totally. We can do that” (It’s not uncommon to hear “groovy”. I’m not kidding.)
It sit with my latest read and pick my head up from time to time to enjoy the chaos of the place during Sunday brunch. I’ve witnessed the manager come out to reprimand servers, see people joke around, even witnessed a mini food fight right in view of the customers. Fellow customers nod at you as you sit down. It’s loud and unapologetic. I love this place.
Am I loyal? Heck yes. I feel like I’ve found a little place in the world for myself on Sundays. I feel like I’m part of some kind of fraternity. I feel, in a way, that this place is like me.
Point is, loyalty isn’t necessarily in the numbers. Sometimes it’s just having personality and giving your customers the feeling they belong. That is the making of a great relationship.