Hell’s Kitchen recently received a note that stopped us in our tracks. A gentleman criticized us for not treating “power couples” as VIPs, explaining that “most customers at restaurants are generally pieces of xxxx,” and that we should “ignore most of them but swallow our pride” when we interact with people who are “worthy of special treatment.”
We honestly aren’t sure how seriously to take his attack—a quick online search hinted that he’s most likely a troll looking for attention– but it gave us a chance to explain how we’re almost religious in our intent to treat everyone who walks through our gates with the same level of respectful service.
Our customers vary from iron ore miners from Tower to beef ranchers from Avon, teachers from Worthington, shop owners from the Red River Valley, and Mayo Clinic medical pros from the world’s best hospital in Rochester. Here downtown, we’re honored that US Bank, Ameriprise, and Target HQ folks join us for lunch, happy hour and dinner. We’ve loved hosting the Miami Heat, Torii Hunter, and the Detroit Tigers as well as Bobby Flay, Jack White, Conan O’Brien, and food writers from Sweden, Italy, Japan and other countries. While we sure don’t meet every single person’s expectations every day, we do our best to treat everyone as VIPs, no matter what they do or where they’re from. A Roseau hockey mom is every bit as important to us as a Fortune 100 CEO, and we’re repeatedly told by celebrities, pro athletes and corporate cats that one of the reasons they keep coming back is because they’re not fawned over or bothered. Trent Reznor from 9 Inch Nails kept his head bowed down until he finally realized we wouldn’t hound him. A number of NY Yankee players politely asked if it would be ok if they got a table right next to a group in town for the recent National Shriner’s convention…they saw how much fun these Shriners were having and wanted to jump right in next to it.
So while we’re sorry we allegedly let down some “power couple” described as “a center of influence with a few thousand people,” we kind of wish we had a chance to personally explain that our center of influence has nothing to do with power and everything to do with everyday customers who blow us away and the rock-solid employees who knock themselves out taking care of them. And from the Facebook response (viewed by 45,024…”liked” by 1,948 and counting), we’re overwhelmed and grateful for the nods from customers in agreement.
Cyn (aka Cynthia Gerdes)