Austin is full of great restaurants and in 99% of cases, the people are friendly, fast, and meet every standard of customer service. The five we are covering today go above and beyond in a way where you will remember the staff after you forget the meal.
Without further ado, here are the five best customer experiences for Austin lunch spots:
La Barbecue: Though not an easy “lunch” trot due to long lines (the Favor App is a way around this), La Barbecue is very much worth it. The Ritz-Carlton, known for its customer service excellence, has called satisfying “unexpressed wants or needs” the pinnacle of customer service. On this list of five great customer service experiences, La Barbecue is the only one that does this.
La Barbecue took the arduous, long wait for barbecue, so familiar to anyone who’s been to Black’s, Franklin’s, Jay Mueller’s, or any other altars of Texas barbecue, and flipped it on its head. La Barbecue provides free beer, and live music, making the line seem more like a concert as you sip (your free) beer, listen to fun local bluegrass, and chat with the other people waiting around you. I personally have a memorable story from every time I’ve stood in line at La Barbecue.
To take something that acts as a deterrent to many, and turn it into a positive part of the experience gets La Barbecue the number one spot on this list.
Seventh Flag Coffee Company: Seventh Flag Coffee Company lands on the list for a quality that is increasingly hard to find in business, large or small: empathy. Help.com CEO Doug Hanna discovered this when he asked if he could eat his lunch from a nearby foodtruck in Seventh Flag Coffee Company’s air conditioned seating area. The response wasn’t “sure” or “I guess”, it was “absolutely, we aren’t one of those places”. That’s a little difference that makes a huge impact. A company whose people are more concerned with people than turning someone away who might not make a purchase is a company worth making purchases at. Also notable: two of the three top reviews on Yelp specifically mention how exceptionally friendly their staff is.
Dock and Roll: As a transplanted Northeasterner, I’ve got to tip my hat to Dock and Roll for making some great, authentic, Northeastern lobster rolls. Not only do they excel in the lobster game though, they also are unerringly friendly and make a clear effort to make sure both that the food is great, and that their patrons go away being a little (or a lot) happier than they were before they arrived at Dock and Roll. There’s something about eating at a place where the people running it clearly love what they’re doing that makes each bite taste a little bit better. Dock and Roll is one of those delightful, rare places.
Chi’Lantro: If you’ve never been to Chi’Lantro, you’re doing it wrong. The best thing about these folks is that they seem to understand that their clientele during the week is almost exclusively people coming from offices. My interactions with them on average are “Chi’Lantro: How’s it going brother.” “Me: Good, busy, looking forward to the weekend.” “Chi’Lantro: I feel you my man, I’ve been there. Have a good one.” It’s a three sentence interaction, but it is incredibly genuine and I always find myself walking away liking whoever I just spoke to immensely.
Torchy’s: Torchy’s lands on this list for what we’ll call “bewildering consistency.” Every single time I’ve been in a Torchy’s in Austin (roughly 1-2 times a week - it’s that good), whoever takes my order is incredibly friendly, provides helpful feedback when I ask for suggestions, and is switched on enough that when I ask how their day/week/weekend is, I get real answers and have an actual conversation with the person behind the counter. I look forward to Torchy’s not only for the great food, but also for the interactions with their staff that always leave me smiling. After 100+ trips to Torchy’s over the years, I’d say that’s worth an acknowledgement.
There we have it. The authoritative list of the best customer service experiences in the wide world of Austin lunch. We’d love to hear about more customer service experiences in Austin, or elsewhere! Leave your experiences in the comments below, or tweet us at @helpdotcom