Eyewitness Account of a Lifesaver Named Shayne

Earlier this year, my close associate Ken Myres, president of Romacorp, shared a customer comment with me that came out of the Palm Desert, California location of Tony Roma’s. It had “Red Shoes” written all over it.

I want to take some time to share it along with the powerful follow-up from Ken’s team, because, at every interaction, I see a prime example of how simple and infectious a Red Shoes Experience is.

The Comment

Tony Roma's Restaurant, (Palm Desert, CA) 11/22/2013

I'm writing you regarding our visit to your restaurant the evening before last. We visit your restaurant quite frequently and always request our favorite server, Shayne. She is an absolute joy and always knows how to put a smile on our faces. She is friendly, genuine and professional. She anticipates our every need, sometimes before we realize we even need it.

Shayne has a way of making you feel as though you are dining in her home. We eat out nearly every meal and dine at many, many restaurants. There are a lot of very nice, professional servers that do a great job, but there is a difference with Shayne. She TRULY CARES! I’m sure I’m not the first guest to say just how wonderful she is.

Anyway, I could go on and on about her forever, but the reason for this letter is regarding our visit last evening 11/22/2013. Again she surprised us! As we were dining, a gentleman near us was choking on his meal. The wife and another gentleman were trying to perform the Heimlich maneuver for some time with no success. Shayne quickly and calmly walked up and did the Heimlich with NO PROBLEM. It was as though she did this every day. It was a side of her we have never known and, as always, we were very impressed.

Unlike many employees and others standing around, Shayne took charge and knew exactly how to handle the situation with grace and respect for the guest. I truly hope you and your staff realize and acknowledge what a true RARE GEM you have. You hit the JACKPOT when you hired her. See you soon.

The Recognition


Being the CX champion he is, once Ken heard about this act of heroism committed by a Tony Roma’s employee, he started arranging proper recognition for her. While he was ready to line up a city proclamation and a visit with the mayor and police chief, Shayne insisted she was just doing her job and that a nice lunch would be plenty of recognition.

On January 13, Ken joined Tony Roma’s team members Chris Castellana, Mike Malik, and Synthia & Bobbie Brinkerhoff at a special lunch with guest of honor Shayne Cornish.

Ken and Chris also visited Shayne at the Palm Desert Tony Roma’s to present her with a much deserved pair of red shoes in front of her management team, coworkers, and lunch guests.

The “Thank You” Note

This might be my favorite part. It sounds funny to say, since her service and actions were obviously profoundly important, but seeing her own words of gratitude in her own handwriting really shows me how much she she lives up to her reputation.