The other day my wife and I, our daughter and son in-love visited the Cheeburger Cheeburger restaurant on Sanibel Island near where we live in southwest Florida. It was our first visit to this “Big is Better” inaugural restaurant that has developed into a nation-wide chain since its launch back in 1986. Due to it being the holiday season and heavy with tourists, there was a forty-five minute wait to be seated. Once we were seated, we waited another fifteen minutes or more and still no one came to the table. I was getting just a little bit impatient so I went to the hostess and manager at the entry check-in desk to inquire. They apologized and sprung into action to find our server.

CheeburgerOur server soon arrived at our table to introduce herself and apologize for her delay. Donah (sp?) told us she was helping an elderly lady in the restroom. I felt a little better knowing there might have been a reasonably good excuse for the lack of attention. But to be honest, I was still a bit grumpy on the inside.

A few minutes later, while Donah was taking our order, the manager, Carol, interrupted to announce that the husband of the elderly lady wanted to thank her and recommend that she get the “Employee of the Month” award for her above and beyond assistance in the restroom. I was embarrassed at even my inner impatience. I felt the nudging of God to remember this lesson: there is usually a story behind the story.

Helping ElderlyThe story behind this story was that Donah was being a true servant. While we were very slightly inconvenienced in our fast-food, microwave mentality, she was doing what was most important—going above and beyond waiting on tables to care for an elderly lady who had an authentic need. She was doing what needed to be done at that very moment. Donah lived out the “Big is Better” model in a Jesus-kind of “upside-down” Kingdom way—Do what is right regardless if it seems small and even if no one is watching.

The story behind the story goes back even further to the excellent restaurant leadership. The server obviously knew she had the freedom to do what was right and management would support her decision. Carol, the manager, displayed outstanding leadership in that restaurant encounter. Their motto is “Big is Better.” She publically praised the server boldly in front of our table when she walked up and announced the “Employee of the Month” nomination. A great trait for all leaders!

And finally, great customer service was exemplified. Carol not only took 10% off the check for the inconvenience of waiting on Donah to actually serve a real need, she also gave us a coupon for four free milkshakes. In my opinion, Cheeburger Cheeburger went far above and beyond our expectations! That’s fantabulous customer service. My expectation was fully satisfied when I realized why the server was delayed. To get a discount and free desserts, was an unexpected “Big is Better” action. And, by the way, I made sure Donah was tipped on the full amount! Big is better. That’s the story behind the story!


QUESTION: Do you have a story of a lesson learned when you found out the story behind the story?  Share it below in the Comment section.

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