Zingerman’s is the holy grail of leadership. They have perfected the art of customer service. They are the royalty of the service industry. Which is why we decided to send two of our team members to go learn from the best. We put Shauna and Alec on a plane and sent them off to Michigan! Shauna, our personnel manager, was accompanied by Alec, one of our kitchen leaders, for the “Leading with Zing!” two-day seminar.
Now, some might consider a trip to Michigan in the middle of January undesirable. Unpleasant, even. According to Shauna, the temperature was -15 when she arrived Sunday evening. But they persevered! They trudged through two feet of snow to attend their first seminar on Monday morning at the Zingerman’s training center. On their first day, they toured the Zingerman’s coffee house. Shauna loved the atmosphere, and she described feeling as if she had formed a relationship with the coffee growers, as their photos were proudly displayed on the walls. She also was able to form relationships with the other attendees of the program, who came all over from Michican and across the US. Shauna and her husband finished the day at the Zingerman’s roadhouse – the mack daddy of the Zingerman’s enterprise – for their anniversary dinner.
Tuesday was all about service leadership, sound visioning, and bottom up business strategies. Service leadership is a concept they described to me as “serving your co-workers as if they were customers.” This concept really resonated with Alec, and he was excited to implement this in the kitchen and throughout the general store. While Shauna said farewell to freezing cold weather on Tuesday, Alec stayed on for a few days to really get the Zingerman’s experience. He worked in the delicatessen, prepped at the roadhouse, and visited the farm. He saw the whole story from farm to table.
So be on the lookout for these hot shot leaders! They are back and ready to kick some customer service butt!