There is a little Greek place near my office in San Diego; I love to eat there. Nothing fancy, it’s like a fast food Greek place but with better tables. What I find really interesting is that the owner knows his customer and caters to them in a very subtle but great way. Probably half of his customer base is Latino not so common for a Greek place. When you go up and order your gyro or your spanakopita it comes like any other place, but there is a little section right next to the napkins that has a variety of Mexican salsas and an assortment of jalapenos and serrano chilies in various preparations, typical of a Latin meal. Now the thing is that if you aren’t Latin or used to eating these spices you would never notice that they are there. That subtlety in service caught my eye and I had to talk about it. The man in charge knows his customer and knows what makes the difference. The explosion of the culinary world has become part of our daily lives, be it a street cart or food trucks that have had their run in a Food Network Reality show to the minimalistic overly gourmet restaurants that feel the need to pack one savory ingredient on top of the other so your senses can be on a constant high. (I’m not criticizing, when I cook I l do the same thing). There are so many options that most of us can eat, anything from anywhere just a short distance away. I must admit most places have a very good meal, they wouldn’t survive otherwise, of course, some are spectacular that’s when I like to write about them. But what I think makes you go to one place instead of the other is service. Most people and I’m also talking about managers and owners when they think about service they think of a waiter standing next to the table waiting for you to lift a pinky so they can cater to your every beck and call. In some places this might be a true sign of good service but when I think of Good, great, leave the restaurant an still be talking about service I think about what my friend Erik does in his place and that’s to know his customer and cater to his likes. Service will always make a difference between 2 great restaurants, It’s the deciding factor and I think it is important for restaurateurs to know what their customer base wants. It is definitely a simple concept some might argue, why even talk about it? But in my experience it’s the simple touch that is almost always missing from a good restaurant to make it a great restaurant. So I have some advice, to the restaurateurs take the time to know your customer and do the little things that make the difference. To the customers like me, lets take the time to appreciate service, be it the waiters or the little Serrano chilies in the back. A nod of appreciation goes a long way. See you next week.