What a reward

Cook at Pittsburgh Steelers' headquarters given car in recognition of good customer service.

Why is good customer service important? Well, in addition to the obvious benefits that happier customers return more frequently and tend to spend more money, you never know when a loyal customer will reward you in ways you couldn’t imagine in your biggest fantasies.

Maurice Mathews, a cook at the Pittsburgh Steelers corporate offices and training facility on Pittsburgh’s South Side, learned the value of good customer relations when Ray Horton, the Steelers’ secondary coach, left to take a job with the Arizona Cardinals. According to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mathews had been friendly with Horton and often joked about how much he’d love to drive the coach’s 1999 Mercedes SL 500 convertible.

Horton left the team in February but returned to Pittsburgh recently to pick up some possessions he had left behind. He walked into the Steelers’ cafeteria, which is managed by Parkhurst Dining Services, and approached Mathews. According to the story, Horton told the cook he’d lost his wallet and wanted to borrow some money. Mathews reached into his pocket and gave Horton $20. In return, Horton tossed Mathews the keys to the Mercedes.

“You take care of people who take care of you, whether it's your family or friends," Horton was quoted as saying in explaining why he gave the car to Mathews. "You take care of good people."

The Mercedes, which reportedly has 64,000 miles on it, has a "Blue Book" value of more than $17,000. Even assuming Mathews is liable for the taxes on the car’s true value, it would still be a steal at about $1,100. And all because a cook made friends with a customer.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

An agreement between Northwestern University’s new foodservice vendor and the union that represents many of the school’s service workers has put to rest some staff concerns over its upcoming vendor switch, reports The Daily Northwestern .

Unite Here Local 1 said that it met with representatives of Compass Group North America, which assumes control of the Evanston, Ill., school’s foodservice this fall, and reached a deal to ensure that staff who previously worked under Sodexo and Aramark would have job security with Compass. In addition, the agreement continues many benefits that...

Ideas and Innovation
scratch card

Two days a week, we do scratch card purchases of $6 or more to get a free item on the next visit. Patients and staff look forward to the Monday and Friday scratch card days. It increases sales on slow days as well as guest satisfaction.

Ideas and Innovation
ramen noodles

The Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock has unveiled a new, full-time food truck called Food from the Heart. It’s the first hospital-owned and operated food truck in the nation, according to KATV .

The truck, which will offer a limited menu that includes Chef Coby Smith ’s popular ramen, served its first meal on May 2 and will roll out service throughout the area beginning next month, the report said.

In addition, it will have pop-up locations, allowing the hospital to extend its reach to communities outside metro Little Rock. The truck can also be used in emergency...

Industry News & Opinion

In a bid to boost sustainability, Dartmouth Dining Services recently replaced its paper straws with red-and-white paper versions that are biodegradable, The Dartmouth reports .

The move is “a small step but a very important one,” Associate Director of Dining Services Don Reed told The Dartmouth.

While paper straws are slightly more expensive for the department than plastic ones, the difference is slight enough to justify, Reed says.

Not all students at the Hanover, N.H., school are on board with the change, however, and some are reportedly hoarding straws from...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code