As a chain, Il Fornaio does a great job of providing a consistently good dining experience regardless of location, day of the week, or season of the year.
My recent visit to Il Fornaio San Jose reaffirmed why I like this restaurant chain so much.
On Sunday, August 6, my husband and I spontaneously chose to have a late (8pm seating) dinner at Il Fornaio.
The hostess promptly seated us at a lovely window table and "Ihab", our waiter commenced rendering an exceptional service experience.
Ihab demonstrated an innate sense as to when we needed his attention and when we were content enjoying the quiet of our own conversation.
Throughout or meal, my husband and I were repeatedly impressed at the many 'little' things Ihab did to make us feel well served; two brief examples:
1) In looking at the menu, we were interested in a particular regional dish. Unbeknownst to us, Ihab took the time to step into the back office, search on the Internet for more information on this dish, print out the details of the dish, and delivered the brief summary document to our table. How do you say, "Wow!" in Italian?
2) At the meals conclusion, my husband requested a cappuccino. It was prepared and delivered flawlessly. With just a bit of coffee left in the cup, my husband asked Ihab for a bit more cream or milk to go with the last swallow of the coffee. Again, Ihab quietly stepped away and secured fresh STEAMED milk to be poured into my husband's cappuccino cup...thoughtfully knowing that cold milk would kill the pleasure of the last sip. How does one train someone to render that level of service?! Simply inspiring.
In closing, I also appreciate Kenneth Johns, Assistant Manager.
We were so impressed by Ihab that we asked to speak with "the manager" to extend our thanks and ensure Ihab's excellent service was recognized by his management team.
Kenneth came to our table and enthusiastically talked about Il Fornaio as a company and his passion for his employees' success. Kenneth demonstrated terrific leadership and I could see he would enable and inspire excellent service by his staff.
I speculate all of the above is enabled by a good, healthy company culture at Il Fornaio -- and for that, I say thank you to the entire Il Fornaio family...from CEO to front-line service staff...you are a good team; it is recognized and appreciated.
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