Tag Archive for Canlis

Delicious Leadership Service Part 4: Lessons from Canlis

At TEAMTRI we believe great leadership happens from the inside out. And, we believe that every organization whether it’s a family, a nonprofit, a publicly traded company, or a family owned restaurant has the capacity and responsibility to learn and practice sincere, authentic, and real leadership to serve others—and when real leadership happens everyone benefits and grows.

So, while we do our work in leadership, we are constantly reading, studying, and searching for examples of leaders and organizations who have figured out real service and leadership. In this final installment of the delicious service series, Michelle summarizes the leadership insights she and Trevor gained dining at Canlis Restaurant in Seattle. Thank you again to the Canlis Crew for exceeding the incredibly high expectations we had for you!

Lesson 4: Listening to Your Elders Really Does Pay Off

By Michelle Collins

Growing up you hear over and over wise advice like:

“Listen to your elders.”

“Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

“It’s the small things that count”

“Live a legacy worth repeating.”

We sometimes hear these little sayings so often that we roll our eyes and almost tune them out because we’ve heard it before and we “know it.” Dining at Canlis reminded me that there is a great difference between hearing it, knowing it, and actually doing it. As Trevor and I experienced Canlis and took our notes, I couldn’t help recalling all the advice I learned growing up and thinking to myself, “So…this is what it looks and feels like when you actually do it.”

“Listen to your elders”.

Mark and Brian Canlis are sure glad they listened to their elders. Their grandfather Peter Canlis opened the Seattle restaurant in 1950 and passed down many words of wisdom to his son Chris. Chris in turn lived these out and passed them down to his two sons Mark and Brian, the current owners of Canlis.

Canlis has been hailed by the New York Times as “Seattle’s fanciest, finest restaurant for over 60 years.” The secret to success for over half a century is one many of us know, “Listen to your elders.” Chris listened to Peter. Mark and Brian listened to Chris. And each generation has taken pride in living out what they listened and learned from the previous generation—and then put their own special spin and innovation on it.

And, that’s how you get to be one of the most award-winning restaurants in the greater Northwest and ranked one of the top 20 restaurants in America by Gourmet Magazine.

“Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

I’m certain Peter taught his family to this saying and clearly they desired to be treated well. And, that’s how we were treated at Canlis, exceptionally well. The restaurant was packed like it is most every night. And, even though the restaurant was full, Canlis made us feel like we were the only ones there by the special and personalized service we received. What we took away was that it is entirely okay to expect to be treated well in life—and to set the example, serve, and treat others exceptionally well too.

“It’s the small things that count.”

At Canlis they pay special attention to small details. Whether its holding the door for someone, pulling out their chair, warming their coat by the fire (my favorite) or having their car waiting at the door without being asked. What was impressive to me us is that Canlis remembered my coat and our car without any coat check or valet ticket. They remembered all the small things and details. Canlis made it clear that when your mindset and heartset starts with care and kindness and you take care of the small things, the big things seem to take care of themselves.

We can learn a lot by Listening to our elders”, “Treating others the way we want to be treated”, and doing “small things.” And, when we do this, we live and leave a legacy worth repeating. Canlis has been doing this every night for over 60 years—and they keep striving for ways to do it better. Dining at Canlis was not only exceptional, it was an inspiring experience. It has encouraged us to look at our worlds more closely for “Canlis moments” to serve and be our best for the good of others.

Our Final Thoughts

Dining at Canlis sincerely lived up to the legend of extraordinary service and will be one we’ll not ever forget. We hope everyone gets the opportunity just once in their lives to have this kind of amazing experience. Trevor and I are also very certain there are more leadership lessons to be learned and we would appreciate any encouragement you can send our CEO so he can “assign us” to go back and learn more and share with you!

Delicious Leadership Service Part 3: Lessons from Canlis

At TEAMTRI we believe great leadership happens from the inside out. And, we believe that every organization whether it’s a family, a nonprofit, a publicly traded company, or a family owned restaurant has the capacity and responsibility to learn and practice sincere, authentic, and real leadership to serve others—and when real leadership happens everyone benefits and grows.

So, while we do our work in leadership, we are constantly reading, studying, and searching for examples of leaders and organizations who have figured out real service and leadership. Enjoy the delicious leadership insights from Trevor and Michelle’s epic experience dining at Canlis Restaurant in Seattle in Part 3 of 4 of this series. Thank you again to the Canlis Crew for exceeding the incredibly high expectations we had for you!

Lesson 3: Make People Feel Special

By Trevor Mulholland

When we concluded our meal, we got up to leave, anxious to get a picture by the gorgeous sprawling fireplace in the atrium. We completely forgot about the photo as we walked up and saw the Director of Service holding Michelle’s jacket near the fire to warm it before we headed out into the cold blustery Seattle weather. While small and unexpected, this was the epitome of our service experience at Canlis. We felt special—from beginning to end.

Lesson: Making others feel special is not a program, it’s a mindset… and more accurately, a heartset. It took paying attention, a caring heart, and about 60 seconds of action to warm Michelle’s coat. It’s so easy as leaders to pay attention to grand plans, strategies, checklists, and reports that we miss those simple moments to make someone else’s day. Canlis doesn’t miss and it encouraged us not to miss our Canlis moments either.

Application: Michelle and I are planner people, we can’t help it. But, we have now factored into our “to do lists”, planning to take the time to make the people in our lives (our families and friends, our customers, colleagues, and fellow humans) feel as special as they really are to us.

Up Next… Why Listening to Your Elders Really Does Pay Off

Thank you for joining us for part three of the leadership lessons we learned dining at Canlis. In the fourth and final part of our series, Michelle will share why the timeless wisdom of “listening to your elders” really does pay off.

Delicious Leadership Service Part 2: Lessons from Canlis

At TEAMTRI we believe great leadership happens from the inside out. And, we believe that every organization whether it’s a family, a nonprofit, a publicly traded company, or a family owned restaurant has the capacity and responsibility to learn and practice sincere, authentic, and real leadership to serve others—and when real leadership happens everyone benefits and grows.

So, while we do our work in leadership, we are constantly reading, studying, and searching for examples of leaders and organizations who have figured out real service and leadership. Enjoy the delicious leadership insights from Trevor and Michelle’s experience dining at Canlis Restaurant in Seattle in Part 2 of 4 of this series. And thank you again to the Canlis Crew for exceeding the incredibly high expectations we had for you!

Lesson 2: Share a Story

By Trevor Mulholland

We sat at the table of the Canlis Founder, Peter Canlis. While our server Miranda was explaining the courses, we noticed a telephone (not a cell phone) sitting next to our table. Miranda explained that before the founder passed away, Peter would sit at this table when not visiting with guests and watch the interactions happening throughout the restaurant. He had the phone installed so that he could call each station to ensure every table was receiving the level of service that he expected. Later during the meal, Miranda called us on this telephone to ensure that our meal was meeting these same expectations the founder had set over 60 years ago.

Lessons: There are so many lessons in this telephone story. The first lesson we picked up on was the power of observational leadership. Mr. Canlis set a standard of high expectation, observed closely to ensure each customer was receiving it, and took it one step further by installing the telephone to validate that it was happening—in real time (not via a post experience survey on a website like we so often find in our digital world today).

The second lesson we experienced was the power of the story. The telephone was a story trigger. By telling the telephone story, Miranda ensured that even though Mr. Canlis had passed away, he left a way to pass on the things that are important. She channeled the high service standards of the founder from yesterday right to our very meal today. Great leaders multiply greater leaders. And, Canlis uses a telephone to help ensure the story and delivery of great services continues to be written with each and every meal.

Application: We are going to look for the “telephone” in our worlds that tells the story of something far greater than it may initially seem. Like the red wagon logo for America’s Promise or the apple logo at Apple, there are stories waiting to be told and multiplied in simple everyday items. And, when there is a story to tell we’re going to tell it!

Up Next… How to Fire Up Your Delicious Leadership Service

Thank you for joining us for this second part of our series on Delicious Leadership Service. Join us for Part 3 as we highlight how to “fire up” your service and make people feel special.

Delicious Leadership Service Part 1: Lessons from Canlis

At TEAMTRI we believe great leadership happens from the inside out. And, we believe that every organization – whether it’s a family, nonprofit, publicly traded company, or family-owned restaurant – has the capacity and responsibility to learn and practice sincere, authentic, and real leadership to serve others—and when real leadership happens everyone benefits and grows.

So, while we do our work in leadership, we are constantly reading, studying, and searching for examples of leaders and organizations who have figured out real service and leadership. That’s what led our Team to Seattle to study Canlis.

We are avid fans of the Building a StoryBrand Podcast with Donald Miller and Donald featured the Seattle-based restaurant, Canlis, on episode 8. So, while we were out serving a wonderful client (the School Nurses Organization of Washington), we surprised two of our super TEAMTRI leaders with dinner at Canlis. We wanted to show our appreciation for their great work and also give them the opportunity to personally experience leadership and service lessons from Canlis and relay them to inspire our work.

Over the next few articles, we’ll feature insights from Event Services Manager Trevor Mulholland and Accounting Services Manager Michelle Collins and their experience dining at Canlis and all they learned dining at what Business Insider rates as one of the 10 best restaurants in the United States.

Enjoy the delicious leadership insights from Trevor and Michelle and thank you again to the Canlis Crew for exceeding the incredibly high expectations we had for you!

Leadership Service Lessons from Canlis

By Trevor Mulholland

There have been very few meals in my life that have really stood out – a fine steakhouse for my high school graduation, a beautiful Italian feast on a study abroad trip to Florence, and now, my recent experience at Canlis.

Growing up in a large family, nice meals have always been reserved for extremely special occasions (graduations, engagements, etc.) TEAMTRI recently treated Michelle and me to Canlis – we had studied the restaurant on a recent Team Call, and were both ecstatic to dine at this renowned establishment.

From the moment we arrived, just about every interaction with the team at Canlis gave me goosebumps. Was this what it’s like to be a celebrity? I may never know the answer to this, but I am positive that every person in that restaurant was treated as if they were the only person there. Here are a few lessons that can be applied in the workplace to give every person you encounter the Canlis Experience.

Lesson 1: Little Details Are a Big Deal

Every course we enjoyed was intentionally thought out. The bread we were served before our first course came atop a dish of warmed grains of rice – not cooked rice, but warmed so that it kept the bread perfectly toasty without getting soggy. This was just one of the many details they delivered perfectly throughout the dining experience. Everything matters at Canlis.

Lesson: While not always acknowledged, people appreciate the extra thought and effort put into making their experience outstanding at your restaurant, store, or place of business. They may never tell you, but, they are likely to tell others. Whether it’s a dinner course, an email, the presence you have in a meeting, helping someone to the car, learning the wants and preferences of your customers, or the way you format a document—the little things add up to the experience people have of you and your organization.

Application: We are going to study our “routines” at home and at work and look for simple ways to add little adjustments that show how much we really care and think things through. When you remember and pay attention to the little details, you are telling others “you are a BIG DEAL to me.”

Up Next…The Importance of Stories in Delivering Delicious Service

Join us for the second part of this four-part series next week as we highlight delicious leadership by Canlis and share about the importance of stories in delivering great service.