Ben works at a local sandwich shop called Baggins near our church. Every time I set foot in his Baggins I know I will leave happier than when I walked in. Baggins gives away a free freshly baked chocolate chip cookie with every purchase. Brian takes that a step further.
After you order, it probably takes five minutes for your food to come out. I’ve never been to Ben's Baggins and not been offered a warm chocolate chip cookie by a smiling Ben before my meal is up. Chocolate chip cookies as appetizers. Yes, please.
There are several other Baggins locations across town. But there’s only one Ben. Offering cookies to customers while they’re waiting for their order is his idea. Brian moves through the tables with a smile and a tray and asks how your day is going. He asks customers if he can refill their drinks. This isn’t a sit down restaurant. Ben doesn’t get tipped. He’s tipping the customer.
Do you know what restaurant I frequent disproportionately? Baggins. I’ve joked with our Exec Team that we need to have Ben come in and train our Welcome Team. I’m only half-joking. There is something powerful in his combination of kindness and hustle. Something inspiring about his level of ownership. In fact, it was only recently that I realized Ben wasn't a manager. I just assumed he had to be.
When people interact with me, do they leave feeling as special as Ben makes me feel?