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Restaurants nowadays are all about getting people on and off seats as quickly as possible. Good food and wine are often coupled with upselling and fast service. There is no time to hear about your day. Yet there are those restaurants that are still committed to the true dining experience.

New York’s Eleven Madison Park takes its customer experience so seriously it Google’s every one of its guests before they arrive. It’s not just casually checking them out online but an IQ tactic the restaurant uses to become as familiar as possible with its diners: “If I find out a guest is from Montana, and I know we have a server from there, we’ll put them together,” says maître d’ Justin Roller. It’s all part of the restaurant’s way of making guests feel like they’re feeling comfortable in one of New York’s most special places.

In addition to trying to find out a little more about its guests, each station has a dedicated four person staff – a captain, a sommelier, a server and an assistant server. And everyone walks away with an after dinner gift. This is after you sample an array of international wines and enjoy a multi-course tasting menu – which they can tailor to the individual.

At a time where there is such an acute focus on food, being able to show an equally acute genuine interest in a guest – and not just because the diner is a regular – could be the difference between quickly building a loyal customer base or closing one’s doors.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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