Bring the extra

Two good college buddies and I met for lunch at a new Peruvian restaurant last week.  The food was good, but not good enough to leave us talking about it.  The owner, on the other hand, was talk-worthy.

He was circulating around the restaurant chatting with people at each table.  He was handing out cups of Peru’s version of popcorn for everybody to try.  He told someone in town from Los Angeles for a meeting where to go in LA for good Peruvian food (restaurants that this owner had no part in).  He made some (semi-offensive) comments about his first wife and how much weight she had gained when she fell in love with his cooking and had all the tables laughing.  And as each party left the restaurant, he shook their hands, remembered their names, and told everyone he hoped they’d be back.  My friends and I definitely will be.

There’s absolutely no doubt that this guy loves running that restaurant.  His enthusiasm for it was contagious.  That’s why his place was full while the food court full of restaurants just 10 steps away had fewer than a dozen people in it.  He’s bringing the extra with him to work, the emotional investment that’s free to him but priceless to his customers. 

It was a good reminder how much doing what you love and bringing the extra with you can affect the people you’re with, whether it's your classmates, teammates, co-workers or customers.