As you know, if you are reading this blog as one of the regular 1200 or so folks that we reach out to periodically, I am always on the look out for memorable customer service especially examples of exceptionally good service. I am pleased to report I have found good customer service and good food.
It’s rare that you find the two combined. We found both this Thanksgiving at Charly’s Restaurant located next door to the Tybee Island, Ga. Post Office.
Now, I am not a restaurant critic and I don’t want to be one. Simply, I know what I like and I have pretty exacting yet rather simple tastes. When I get good food and good service combined with special attention from the management then I am a happy camper. So, it was this Thanksgiving Day for us at Tybee Island, a coastal island out from Savannah.
We are at the beach this late in the year and at the holidays because we had to delay our vacation plans until November 20th to get to the island for a working vacation.
I was somewhat concerned and maybe even a little hesitant to be here during the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas were my Mother’s two favorite holidays and it just doesn’t seem to be the same without her here to enjoy them with us. Combine her love for these days with her love to cook and entertain family and you have the makings for a sad day when she is not around.
Mom was a pretty critical woman when it came to food and service. However, I believe Mother would have been proud of Charlie Vonashek, the proprietor of Charly’s Restaurant. I think she would have even enjoyed visiting his new establishment as much as we did.
Let me tell you I am a lover of turkey and dressing and my Mother’s turkey and dressing was one of my all time favorites. So when Mr. Charlie offered a sample of his dressing I was skeptical. (However, this is an excellent guerrilla marketing tactic.) Mr. Charlie makes a fine dressing – not as good as Mother’s but then no one could match her recipe – but pretty darn good and that’s not all.
I had his turkey and special dressing, mashed sweet potatoes and green beans and let me tell you they were down right Thanksgiving good. Kay had the roasted half duck with orange butter sauce and it was equally delicious. And to top it off they have a full service bar with a nice selection of wines, beer and liquor. They pour good stiff drinks and they have free limo service, if you need a ride to or from the restaurant – a really nice touch and a great guerrilla marketing idea.
Jim and Ann Knipe, my surrogate parents here, hosted us for this Thanksgiving feast. They are the type of “parents” for whom I am most grateful. Their daughter, son-in-law and their son joined us.
Our dining was in a small and lovely decorated dining room where we could have a conversation and actually hear one another. The walls of the restaurant are lined with original art work by Patti and these originals are all available for sale. Both of these are excellent “branding” strategies for a new establishment.
This brings me to the service and the memorable experiences.
From the minute you arrive until you leave, Charlie is greeting and visiting – not intrusively but accommodatingly. (Another good branding tactic.)
Now Charlie, who is from a Czech-Polish family was born and raised in Cicero, Illinois (for those of you who may not know your Midwest history this was the home of Al Capone in his hey days) yet it seems that Charlie outed the Army here in 1971 and loved the Savannah area so well he stayed to work for Gulf Stream and cut his teeth in the restaurant business on his former operation known as Skippers.
Much of the southern hospitality that I am sure attracted him here to begin with and that he has experienced the past 35 years has obviously taken hold on him and the way he conducts his own business.
His guest services staff was polite, efficient and courteous and they saw to it that everyone had a memorable guest experience.
Vonashek and his team at Charly’s have the right ingredients and recipe for a great restaurant. They understand personalized customer service, good food at a very reasonable price (no entrée is over $20), and they are focused on being successful while helping their customer’s have a good experience.
Simply stated, we will go back and we recommend this establishment.
Charly’s Restaurant is located at 106 South Campbell Street, Tybee Island, Ga. They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 6 to 10 p.m. You can make a reservation by calling 912.786.0221.
Do let us know about your customer service experiences at this and any other establishment. We are always looking for examples.
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