In the food and beverage industry providing excellent customer service is one of the key differentiating factors to ensure success of your company. Along with providing excellent food, the customer wants a memorable experience that they will share with their friends and family. I recently had the opportunity to interview a close friend, Alexandra Cappucci, who is the current General Manager for the South Reno Great Full Gardens location.
We talked a little about her background, as she is a fellow graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno. Alex has lived in Reno, Nevada for the past ten years and began working for the Midtown location of Great Full Gardens in August of 2013. She started as a server, and held this position for about six months, before transitioning into a management role. She transferred and became the General Manager for the new South Reno location which opened in October of 2016.
I asked her a little bit about what her thoughts were for the locations goals and mission. Her personal mission for the company is to, “create a restaurant concept where everyone feels safe and welcome, no matter their dietary preferences.” She discussed how many people create relationships over food. It is a place to have food and drinks with family and friends.
One thing that differentiates Great Full Gardens from other restaurants are the diverse food options they provide which increases the customers satisfaction. Alex discussed how you can bring an entire family to eat, while everyone is able to find something that aligns with their dietary preference, whether they are vegan, vegetarian, or a meat lover. They can all share the experience together and leave happy and full.
One of Alex’s personal experiences with the restaurant that she enjoys the most is serving kids who may have a dietary allergy. They can come and feel welcome and enjoy foods with their friends and family and feel as though they are part of the group. They have had kids come in and celebrate their birthdays with friends and have the ability to feel like a kid, while finding food options that they can actually eat and enjoy. She enjoys making a healthy impact on children, while also providing them with an amazing experience.
In order to follow through on the customer service side of the business I asked Alex about some of the training that goes into creating the awesome culture they have. She discussed one of the main focuses is initially finding employees with the right fit. Having someone memorize a menu or work a computer is easy, but it takes certain individuals to fit with the culture and connect with the guest.
Great Full Gardens calls the hiring process an “audition.” The audition process lasts 3-4 hours, where the applicant can see what goes on behind the scenes, and how the team works. They can see the chemistry the employees have with the customer. This is a mutual decision where both the restaurant and applicant need to mutually decide if it is a good fit, which furthers the strong culture of the company.
Once completing the audition the new hire undergoes training of every position, and completes modules. There is a lot expected of employees, where they have to study and complete a test before working on the floor by themselves. Modules allow the team to be prepared and also allow the guest to feel safe and welcome. Employees need to be extremely knowledgeable about the foods being prepared and served. Being aware of what items are gluten, dairy free, paleo, or affect allergies to name a few are helpful to the customer. Many customers with different dietary restrictions and allergies can all find something to eat and enjoy on the menu.
Great Full Gardens is an amazing local restaurant, and talking to Alex gave a better sense of how they are able to provide such an amazing experience for their guests, along with continuing their strong culture. Next time you’re in the Reno area, make sure to make a stop by Great Full Gardens, you won’t be disappointed!