Scoozis - where everybody knows your name
In an unfamiliar city, I enjoy finding a spot that I can return to multiple times, where I can connect to the surroundings and the people. In Vancouver, I discovered Scoozis on Howe Street and have been back several times. I connected with Michael, the owner of the establishment, right away and have enjoyed that smile of recognition each time I've returned.
On the first night, I expressed a desire not to have to make a decision, opting instead for the chef's choice. The meal was excellent and the service, exceptional.
The next visit was in the morning, and I enjoyed a delightful visit with a fellow FCM delegate from Prince Edward Island. I eventually discovered that Gary had a direct connection to Fort McMurray through his daughter Nathalie who taught there for a number of years before moving to Okotoks. I have a direction connection to her husband Jason - he and I went through the inaugural year of the Leadership Wood Buffalo program together.
My most recent visit was this morning, and I enjoyed one of Michael's original deep-dish breakfast creations. It was outstanding, and I would recommend it if you're game for something a little different.
"I absolutely loved it," I said to Michael as he came to take away my plate. "Next time, I'll bring my whole family."
Not a minute later, a fellow from the Czech republic was at the counter after enjoying a chat with one of the servers original from Serbia.
"Next time, I'll bring my wife from Brazil. Then, with Serbia, we'd have everybody here!"
As I've observed Michael over the last three visits, I've noticed several things. First of all, he always introduces himself to customers in a way that is authentic and naturally allows for an exchange of names and some basic information. Secondly, once he hears your name, he finds a way to say it a number of times over the course of the meal, locking it into his memory. Thirdly, he always takes the time to introduce the customer to his other staff members who participate in the service delivery.
It's the little things done consistently that make the biggest difference (Robin Sharma).
Michael's approach to connecting with customers isn't earth-shattering or unique, but he is super consistent and genuinely authentic. Scoozis is not a fancy place with an overly exotic menu, but it is service-oriented, personable, and inspires a sense of home and belonging. It's a place where knowing your name matters.