“Hi, my name is Christy, and I’ll be taking care of you tonight.”
“Hello, Christy,” my dinner companion and I responded, perched in our chairs in a Boston South End neighborhood restaurant. We ordered beverages.
When Christy returned to our table with our beverages, she asked, “Is this your first time dining with us?” For one of us, yes; for the other, no.
“What are you thinking about for dinner,” she asked? We replied with gobbledygooks of possibilities.
“That all sounds good and I’ll be happy to answer any questions about the food,” she smiled. “One thing you might want to consider is the Crab Rangoon appetizer. Have you had Crab Rangoon before?”
“Yes,” we replied, and we hadn’t given them even the slightest consideration.
“Now, you may have a different opinion,” she said. “And, what I like about ours is … and I watch them do this every night…. they’re made specifically to order here. Not pulled out of a freezer like I’ve seen in other restaurants I’ve worked. Here, we make the dough and filling fresh, here, every day. The chefs lay the dough out on the table, even and flat, and thin… very thin. Then they spoon the filling onto the dough (she made a spooning motion with her hands), then they cut the dough and pinch each one before they cook (she pinched her imaginary Rangoons) so they’re fresh, they’re light, they’re crisp, and they just melt in your mouth (her face lit up and melted as if she were tasting them).
We ordered two servings, on the spot.
But wait, she continued. Think about our sautéed, gently warmed-through Brussels sprouts with chorizo and parmesan cheese (result: one order to share, even though we didn’t previously like Brussels sprouts). And kale dressed in anchovy vinaigrette with pecorino cheese, crispy shallots, and brioche croutons (result: one order to share, even though one of us didn’t previously like anchovies or kale).
As we concluded our meal, we commented, “We would follow her anywhere and order whatever she suggested!” She sold us … actually… she ENROLLED us in Rangoon, sprouts, and the kale– dishes we would not otherwise have ordered – through her warm, visual portrayals of her restaurant’s careful food preparation and how their careful preparation translates into in-mouth taste and feel.
She made the sales because she first made us BELIEVERS….
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