The other night I went to one of my favorite restaurants, Tony’s.  I was talking with Vince Bommarito, the owner, about delivering great service.  My comment was that Tony’s is so good, and has such an incredible reputation, with guest expectations that are so high, that all Tony’s has to do to exceed expectations is to simply meet them.  The unbelievably delicious food coupled with extraordinary service is the recipe for an AMAZING experience.


Vince said that he appreciated the comment.  He said they get phone calls and letters about the restaurant, the food and even some of the employees.  Every night just before Tony’s opens they have the all-employee meeting where he loves to share these accolades.  Then he tells everyone, “This is great and we should all be proud.  Guess what?  In five minutes we start over!”


In “The Cult of the Customer” I write about how easy it is for a company who has the reputation of operating at level of “amazement” to fall back into a cult or phase of “uncertainty.”   The best companies understand that they are only as good as the last sale – or as Tony’s would say, their last meal.  Companies who enjoy amazing reputations must work hard to stay on top, and that means starting over, every day, reestablishing their reputation.  It is the consistent effort toward amazement that keeps them at the top.


Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations.  As a professional speaker and author, Shep helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.  For more information on Shep’s speaking programs and books, please contact (314) 692-2200. Email:  Web: For information on customer service training, go to


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