La Madeleine in Alexandria, Virginia

I was recently traveling in Alexandria, Virginia on business and stopped at La Madeleine Country French Café on King Street for breakfast. I went to pay for my meal and my personal credit card was declined. I was using my personal credit card because my corporate credit card was declined the night before. (Yes, my cards were compromised – but that is another story)

Obviously frazzled, the Store Manager, Sam Wells, said “this meal is on us” – I said he didn’t have to do that but he insisted. Sam and I had been chatting so he knew that I was from out of town and couldn’t really be a repeat customer – so why did he do this?  Sam did know that I was at a conference across the street and I may tell someone about the generosity of his establishment, their excellent service, and great food!

Kudos to La Madeleine to empowering their managers to make these customer engagement decisions! And my deepest thanks to Sam for his generosity.

I will always remember my customer experience at La Madeleine and will tell this story over and over for many years to come. (I think Sam knew what he was doing…)