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  Service Stars

The waiter who crossed the street
to satisfy a customer

Satisfactory customer service is seldom memorable. What is memorable is poor service and service that goes the extra mile. Sometimes it only takes a small gesture to change a routine customer service experience into one we will recall months later, we will tell others about and will cause us to become repeat customers. Those who do those little extras are truly Service Stars.

My wife and I dined at the Centro Mediterranean Grill at the corner of Granville and Smythe streets in downtown Vancouver on a quiet Sunday evening. Following a satisfying meal, my wife ordered a special coffee with her dessert.

Our waiter returned to the table to inform her that the restaurant had run out of whipped cream. Would the foam used for lattes be a satisfactory substitute? No, she responded.

Marc then offered to try to get some whipped cream from a nearby Starbucks. After arranging for another waiter to deliver our desserts, he left the restaurant, crossed Granville and returned within five minutes with a container overflowing with whipped cream.

A moment later he reappeared at our table with a special coffee topped with “genuine Starbucks whipped cream.”

Most service providers would have simply said they were sorry, but what had been ordered was no longer available. That would have been the end of it. Not Marc. He did not give up. He searched for alternatives and took the necessary action to create a satisfied customer. We will think of the Centro Mediterranean Grill when we next visit Vancouver.


Nelson Scott offers several Customer Service Presentations, including Customer Service MAGIC: Changing Complainers into Loyal Customers; What Your Mother Taught You About Customer Service and other Training Resources developed by Service Quality Institute and the Vital Learning Corporation.


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A professional trainer, speaker, and consultant since 1995, Nelson Scott works with organizations that are committed to making the right hiring decisions, developing and retaining productive staff, and strengthening relationships with customers.  Learn more by visiting or e-mailing


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