Tag Archive | Jim Edwards

Soupfly Travels & Trainings-Part 2

Welcome Back to Soupfly!

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In our last post I shared with you about our recent travels last month.  Today I am sharing with you about the rest of our trip, specifically, our adventures in the lovely state of Colorado.

We had 2 main stops in Colorado-Loveland and Lone Tree.

Door 222 Food & Drink/ Loveland Downtown Development Authority 

We had been to Loveland before.  In fact, we’d been through there a couple times in the past, and it was on one of those occasions where we stumbled upon a great farm to table type restaurant, Door 222.  It was previously known as Next Door Food & Drink-and recently changed their name.  If you’ve read  my book, Getting to WOW!, then you may recall one of the restaurateurs whom I interviewed and quote a few times, is Jim Edwards-the owner of this establishment. Jim and his team at Door 222 do a wonderful job on both the culinary and the hospitality side of the business.  They all are very friendly & welcoming, knowledgeable and know how to make each guest feel welcome.  Door 222 is easily one of my favorite restaurants-anywhere.

Since we were going to be passing through Colorado, both Jim and I thought it would be a great opportunity to do a Getting to WOW! Service & Hospitality/Customer Service Presentation and book signing.  So that’s exactly what we did!  With the cooperation of the Loveland Downtown Development Authority, and the local Chamber of Commerce, on  very short notice, they and Jim set up this event. About 30 local business owners attended the event.

After the event, of course we had a great dinner at Door 222 Food & Drink with my brother and his wife.  Awesome food, attentive, friendly service.  The team here know what Service & Hospitality Excellence is all about.  When in or near Loveland, Colorado, go and enjoy:

http://www.door222.com/

It was such a great honor to speak in front of these local Loveland business owners. Our presentation was very well received, and we sold 15 books!  Yahoo! We knew in advance that  we that we wanted to donate to a local non-profit, so  Jim recommended The House of Neighborly Service.  We donated $3.00 from every book sold.  If you live in Colorado, (or anywhere) and you would also like to contribute to a great non-profit that is making a difference in people’s lives-I suggest you check out House of Neighborly Service.  They will happily and gratefully accept any amount you may wish to bless them with.

http://www.honservice.org/

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Lone Tree Golf Club & Hotel

After our very short visit to Loveland, it was time to move on to Lone Tree-about 3o minutes south of Denver. A couple months back, the Director of  Food & Beverage for the South Suburban Parks & Recreation District of Colorado, Jay Dikeman, purchased a copy of my book, Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service. He started following my blog, Soupfly and when he noticed that we were planning a trip passing through Colorado, he contacted me and asked if I’d be available to come and do a Getting to WOW! Training for his leaders.  I, of course, said yes.  We worked out a deal and lo and behold, we now had Lone Tree, Colorado on our agenda.

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Jay is a long time veteran of the Service & Hospitality industry who truly understands and embodies Service & Hospitality Excellence. The fact that he resonated with the content of my book, and recognized the value that I could bring to his team, was indeed an honor and a privilege for me.  We had such an amazing time sharing for the better part of a day, with his Team Leaders about “Getting to WOW!” and “I Am the Customer Experience”.  They were completely engaged, eager to learn, participated fully and made it an awesome experience for me as well. I was grateful to have Michelle by my side and sharing some valuable input at both the Loveland and this Lone Tree event.

Originally we were scheduled to do our presentation on Wednesday, the day after we arrived at the beautiful Lone Tree Golf Club & Hotel.  However, that night when we arrived it began to snow. Of course it snows often in Colorado. But this happened to be more than a bit of snow.  Approximately 22 inches of snow dumped on Lone Tree and the surrounding area in 12 hours. Denver airport was shut down, and roads were impassable. In fact the local authorities were advising people to not even leave their homes.  Needless to say, many of the expected attendees were not going to make it in for the presentation at the Lone Tree Hotel.  Jay asked if we could/would mind staying an extra day.  We gratefully accepted his offer and did our presentation the next day.

Snow Day!

The puppies got to play in the snow, Michelle and I got to relax and not travel or do anything for one entire day and it was great!  The hospitality extended to us by the team and staff of the Lone Tree Hotel was exceptional.  Since we were the only guests of the hotel on the day of the blizzard, we had the privilege of the chef coming to our table at lunch to help us decide what off the menu dish he could prepare for us.  Fresh baked salmon and fresh vegetables. It was delectable.  Thank you so much, Jay and Team for a most wonderful time.  We look forward to our next visit!

If you’re passing through Colorado, I highly recommend that you consider a stay at Lone Tree Golf Club & Hotel:

http://www.golflonetree.com/

I am so excited and grateful how my speaking and training business is starting to take off. Each month we are adding new clients. New opportunities to speak and do trainings are coming my way.  More and more people are discovering my book, Getting to WOW! and ASPIRE Enterprises is gaining exposure.  I am humbled, honored and excited for each opportunity.  My goal is to make my book, Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service a number one best seller, and to bring value and be of service to thousands and thousands of Service Professionals thru my training and speaking.  I recognize that it is people like Jay Dikeman, and Jim Edwards and many others who provide me those opportunities.  It is also people like you, my Soupfly readers, people who have attended my trainings and my customers who have purchased and read my book, that help me achieve and realize these goals.  For that, I thank each one of you.

I would also be so grateful if you would recommend my book to your friends and peers, share my posts on Social media and tell others who you think may find value in hiring me  to speak/train their Team on WOW! Service & Hospitality/5 Star Customer Service.

Thank you for reading and for your continued support.  Please let me know how I may be of Service to you, your company or organization.

Cheers!

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P.S.  By the way, when Michelle took Lilly, Carly & Bruno for a walk in the Estes National Park in Loveland, Bruno had the chance to scare away the mountain lion. Life is an adventure!

Elevating Service & Hospitality,

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Christoff J. Weihman

ASPIRE Enterprises

Las Vegas, NV

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To purchase your signed copy of my book, Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service-please see our website:

http://www.christoffjweihman.com/

Domestic US orders only

For orders outside the US please go here:

http://www.amazon.com/Getting-WOW-Everybody-WINS-Service/dp/0692359192/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1460675627&sr=8-1&keywords=christoff+j+weihman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soupfly’s Travel Adventures

WELCOME BACK TO SOUPFLY!  And Welcome back home to Las Vegas for us!

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Today’s post is going to be a departure from our norm, as I will be sharing with you about our cross-country trek that I, Christoff and my wife, Michelle and the puppies-Lilly and Carly recently made.  We ate and shopped at a number of different restaurants and stores and we experienced some good, some great and some poor service along the way.  My main purpose for this blog is to highlight and celebrate the good and great Service & Hospitality Professionals that made our journey an enjoyable experience.

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So let’s begin.  We set out Tuesday morning from Las Vegas at about 4:15 am, puppies securely snuggled into their new comfortable car seat.  I don’t know for a fact that it was comfortable-but Lilly and Carly seemed to really enjoy it.  We drove through Utah-absolutely beautiful scenery and into Colorado.  The weather was clear and sunny and the drive was-thankfully-a success.  What do I mean by a success?

 

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Well, in the past, Carly-the brown one-half Yorkie, had a tendency to have anxiety while traveling.  This usually meant that eventually, on almost every trip, she would have an upset stomach that would express itself with her throwing up.  This would then make the drive a stressful event for me as I would be wondering when is she going to do it.  This time, however, she only did  slightly and that within the first hour of our trip.  The rest of the way she was calm and peaceful.  As was Lilly.  If you have little puppies that tend toward car anxiety-I highly recommend getting a car seat similar to the one we got for them.  You will be so happy that you did.

 

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Our destination goal for day one was Loveland, Colorado.  There, we would visit my brother, Mark and his wife Kellie and our friend Jim Edwards, owner of Next Door Food & Drink.  We arrived in Loveland after nearly 13 hours of travel.  We checked into our room, got Lilly and Carly fed and settled, quickly changed into non-travel clothes and headed out to Next Door.  We had happened upon Next Door Food & Drink when we were in Loveland in July, earlier this year.  We ate lunch there at that time and we were so impressed with the food-all locally sourced, natural, much of it organic and wonderfully, creatively prepared AND the outstanding service.

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We met Jim back in July and our server was Sydney Nelson.  Sydney’s style of service is so refreshing.  She has a positive upbeat attitude, a warm and friendly personality And she is very knowledgeable about everything regarding the restaurant-the food sourcing, the preparation, the wine and cocktails,  the materials used in the decor of the restaurant-much of it reclaimed and re-purposed.  She absolutely knows her stuff!  There are some servers (we’ve all met) who have wonderful, pleasant personalities and they seem to think that that excuses them from actually having service skills and being knowledgeable.   Not so, with Sydney.  She is a true Hospitality professional in every sense of the word.  

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I was so impressed with our experience that the following day I suggested to Michelle that we return to eat at Next Door again to see if they are consistent.  So we did, and they were.  We had a different server that day,  Jim Edwards, the owner was not in but everything was excellent, AGAIN.  To me, this is a testament to Jim’s leadership  There are many servers who excel at what they do but they work at restaurants where the leadership is either lacking or non-existent.  When one goes to those places-it’s really a hit and miss situation.  There is no consistency-because no standards are set, management is not engaged and little thought is put into who is hired.  Jim Edwards has done a wonderful job at creating a culture of caring Service and Hospitality Professionals.  And the food is great as well.

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This experience led me to ask both Sydney and Jim if I could interview them for my book-that was all back in July. Of course, I did interview them both for my book, Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service.  It was such a pleasure getting their take on what constitutes “WOW!” service and how to achieve it.   So, I was eager to connect with them again, since now the book is finally nearing a release date.

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This time our server was Andy Stephenson, who had been our server the 2nd day  back in July.  He, too, was outstanding in his affable manner, his knowledge and recommendations and  overall excellence in service.  And guess what?  Unlike Sydney, who says she’ll probably always be in the industry in some capacity because she loves it so much, Andy is planning on pursuing other career paths, however, there is no “I’m just doing this til I get a real job” attitude or mentality with him.  Andy truly seems to care about his guests and endeavors to give them a great dining experience. Just as the subtitle of my book states-“Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service”, Next Door Food and Drink in Loveland, Colorado, while NOT a fine dining establishment-it’s a semi casual place, they prove that 5 Star Service does not necessarily mean white table cloths, tuxedoed servers and fine china.  Because they have none of that.  What they do have though, is a team of people that pursue excellence on a daily basis and they create WOW! dining experiences for their guests.

Thanks, Jim, Sydney, Andy and the rest of the staff at Next Door Food & Drink!  What a great start to our cross country journey.

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After an overnight in Loveland, Colorado-we headed North and East to Minnesota to visit my daughter, Kimberly and her husband, Jesse.  A long 13 hour drive through Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota and finally arriving in chilly-ok, actually, COLD- Minneapolis, Minnesota at 3:30 am.  Although it was COLD, the days were sunny and there was no snow until the day after we left Minnesota.  Thank you, Lord!

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When in Minneapolis, one place that is an absolute Must Visit- is the Mall of America. It is HUGE.  It has an actual Theme Park inside with numerous roller coasters, theme rides  and an aquarium.  There are over 400 stores and the Mall employs over 12,000 people.  If you’ve never been-I encourage you to do so.  It’s pretty amazing.

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Our first day in Minnesota, Michelle and I toured the mall and ate lunch at Tucci Benucch.  Our server, Laslo, from Hungary did a good job.  He made some great drink suggestions for us.  Michelle had a white peach bellini made with all natural, fresh peach puree and I had a blood orange Negroni.  I only started drinking Negronis recently.   I think it was my friend, Greg DaLuz, that turned me on to them.  A Negroni is typically made with equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and campari.  What I love is that every place has their own take on a Negroni.  The blood orange one at Tucci Benucch was a wonderful new rendition of the classic.

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While at  Mall of America, we experienced  great service and hospitality at some of the stores likeCallisters Christmas, where we were warmly welcomed and greeted by the staff and manager.  They were very friendly and helpful, assisting us in finding the perfect Christmas ornaments for some family members.

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Also, at Marbles-The Brain Store, the retail staff were very pleasant.  They exhibited the right balance of offering assistance yet not being overbearing or stalking as is often the case at some retail establishments.  

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Then there was the woman at a baby store where we shopped.  It is probably more properly called a baby clothing store-as they don’t actually sell babies there.  This  retail saleswoman was not very friendly, was marginally helpful and acted as though she didn’t like people.  Although she was not very pleasant, we didn’t allow that to damper our excitement as we were shopping for clothes for our first grandbaby-to arrive in May of 2015!  (Blessings to my daughter Kimberly and her husband, Jesse)

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One would think that someone who works in such a place might actually have a joy for life because their customers are all people who either are expecting a child, have a baby or have a family member that does.  That, to me, should shout positivity, upbeatness, joy, happiness, etc.  Instead, we were met by someone who should maybe be working at a dill pickle factory.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-if you are in the service and hospitality industry-(and guess what?  retail is included in that) it is imperative that you have a positive upbeat attitude.  Just as people eat out at a restaurant for reasons other than just to consume food-they want an experience.  So, too, when someone is shopping in your store they may be there to purchase an item that they want or need but they also would like to have it be a pleasant experience.  You, the service professional, the hospitality professional, the customer service professional, the retail professional, the sales professional-whatever category you happen to be in-you are there for your guest, customer, client.  Your job is much more than just ringing people up and bagging their purchase item.

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As we are entering the holiday season, I encourage you to stop and pause for a moment and put yourself in your customers’ shoes.  Think to yourself-“What can I do to make this a pleasant and enjoyable experience for them?”  One suggestion-you might start with a smile and a genuine “Good afternoon, welcome to ABC company.”  If you say, “Hi, welcome to ABC company” but you never look up and actually make eye contact with your guest, what’s the point of mouthing the words?  You are not actually welcoming your customers.  You have no heart in it.  If instead, you come to work with a positive attitude and a sincere desire to provide great service-it will come back to you, manifold.  You reap what you sow.  Sow some kindness, some happiness and some cheer.  And watch it return to you in abundance.

 

Soupfly Travel Adventures  will continue in our next post.  We still have 3000 miles to cover and many experiences to share with you!

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Thank you for reading.  I am truly grateful for all my readers.  I want to welcome new readers from Lithuania!!  How very exciting that Soupfly continues to travel the globe!

I want to thank all of you who have pre-ordered my book-

Gettting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service.

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I invite the rest of you to go to my website and pre-order your copy today at the introductory price of only $20.00.  I am only able to accept domestic (United States) pre-orders at this time.

Go here to order your copy of Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service :

http://www.christoffjweihman.com/my-book.html

 

As always, I encourage you to share Soupfly on Social Media. Please LIKE Soupfly on Facebook.

I welcome and look forward to your comments.  If you want to Follow Soupfly and receive an email alert when a fresh Soupfly is being served please hit the Follow button.

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Cheers and God Bless you all!

Christoff J. Weihman

ASPIRE Enterprises

Las Vegas, NV                                                                                                                                                       

ChristoffJWeihman.com