Yesterday, I took visiting family to one of my favorite Japanese restaurants, “Kabuki” in Tacoma. The sushi chef, Koji-san, is an energetic yet deliberate artisan who has been working for decades. On the wall in his sushi station are the autographs of several celebrities he has served. He even has a framed napkin (complete with soy sauce stain) that was autographed by both Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw when they dined at his establishment during the filming of The Getaway.
It had been almost a year since my last visit, but as soon as I went over to greet him and ask about specials, he said, “I remember you.”
He informed me I had been accidentally over-charged the last time I had dined there, and then he started digging through a box of notes written in katakana. After a few moments, he found the note he was looking for and told me exactly what we had for dinner...last year on July 25!! Immediately calling over the waitress, Koji-san informed her to make an appropriate adjustment to our dinner bill.
Koji-san is memorable anyway; but, last night, he went above and beyond. Everyone at the table was impressed, and they will be telling all of their friends about this. And, of course, you are hearing about it from me right now.
If you really want to be memorable, follow Koji-san’s example and do everything you can to let your customer know, “I remember you!”
[Be sure to visit Kabuki in Tacoma and sit at Koji-san’s sushi bar. You will not be disappointed!]