I found myself walking to Chili's again tonight. It was so good the first time (don't judge me)! So back to Chili's I went. As soon as I came through the door the staff recognized me and everyone stopped to greet me. It wasn't the normal greeting you get when you walk into a restaurant, these people actually remembered me! As soon as Ali saw me he smiled, shook my hand, and walked me to the both I sat in last time. The manager came to greet me as soon as I sat down and before I could decide on what to eat, Ali brought chips and salsa to the table and told me they were on the house! I couldn't believe how kind everyone was being. Ali then pulled a crinkled piece of paper out of his pocket. It was the thank you note I had left him.
He shook my hand again and thanked me for doing such a nice thing for him. I thought this was such a simple gesture and wasn't a big deal but I could see how glad he was that someone genuinely appreciated and recognized him for doing his job well. This clearly meant a lot to him.
After I ordered, the food came in record time and I was served a cup of tea, also on the house. Service was being taken to a whole new level at this point! Once again, I pulled out my journal and began writing while I enjoyed my delicious cup of tea. Although this time I was writing about my experience here.
After I paid for dinner, instead of writing another note I asked Ali if he would like to take a selfie with me. He happily agreed. After laughing at how silly we looked in our selfies he asked me what my name was. I took the crumpled up receipt and completed the "J" with the rest of the letters of my name. He thanked me once again for the kind words I had left him and told me whenever I decided to come back to the restaurant to call so that he could save a booth for me - my booth.
Always let someone know they're appreciated. You never know how big of an impact a small gesture could have.