Day 8: Write a thank-you letter to the owner of a business. (See description for further context.)

Write a thank-you letter to the owner of a business who anticipated, met, and exceeded your needs. Tell your story. Describe your experience candidly, and your delight, and your surprise. After you’ve finished a draft of the letter, go back and make it beautiful and clear. Do your best to make your prose (its precision, its melody) really carry your gratitude, by expressing your story concretely and your feelings truly.

[It’s been a while since I’ve had the pleasure of being pleasantly surprised by the quality of service of a business owner. As such, I am going to create a story of such an experience and tell it through this fictitious letter]

Dear Jacques,

Last week, my boyfriend and I had the pleasure of dining at Caffe Rolle for our anniversary, during what seemed to be a peak time–Friday night dinner. I am writing this letter to express my utmost appreciation for the service we received that night.

When we arrived, there was already a line of people waiting to be seated. I had heard excellent things about this restaurant and needed to experience it for myself, even if I had to wait a half hour to be seated.

My wait was alleviated by the fact that there was a TV in the waiting area, as well as a water cooler. There were also pamphlets that were designed to teach French basics. Going through those pamphlets and quizzing and being quizzed by my boyfriend was a lot of fun, and definitely a productive way to pass the time.

The 30 minutes was over before we knew it, and we were seated at a table with one long unlit candle in the middle, though no other tables had a candle. After we were seated, however, we were greeted by none other than you yourself, the owner of the fine establishment. You came by to offer us a complimentary bottle of wine and a plate of escargot as appetizers, and to wish us a happy anniversary.

I followed your steps as you departed our table, and you disappeared into the kitchen, only to emerge with another bottle and a plate of escargot, ready to serve another table. I looked around and saw that the restaurant was extremely busy, but the fact that you personally came by to greet us was extremely touching, and I assumed it was commonplace since you were off to serve another table. It was at that point that I knew that I was in for quite the experience. It was also at this point that I had begun to suspect that my boyfriend had perhaps planned this when he made his reservation, but I made no mention of it.

We browsed through the menu while chewing our snails. Though the menu was all in French, the pamphlets in the waiting area helped with understanding it. I settled on the coq au vin, and my boyfriend chose the pot-au-feu. The waitress assured us that we made excellent choices and was off to deliver our order.

While waiting, we continued learning French through the pamphlets and before we knew it, our food was served. I could tell that there was a professionally trained chef in the kitchen because the presentation of the food was more perfect than what you’d usually see on TV. The waitress offered to take a picture of us before we started on our food, and we took her up on the offer.

As we ate our food, our waitress continually refilled our water cups and ensured that everything was fine for us. Not once were we given the bill before we were ready. I overheard a group who had received the wrong order and it sounded like they were given free dessert for their troubles.

We were given take-home boxes and our food was professionally packed, rather than leaving us to our own devices, and then we were offered the dessert menu. You can never go wrong with creme brûlée so we ordered one for each of us. The dessert was delectable, and was definitely the right size.

My boyfriend and I decided on a hefty 30% tip for the amazing service we were offered, and even then I still feel like we got the better end of the deal. As we got ready to leave, you approached us from the kitchen yet again, with a bouquet of red roses in your hands. By the way they were cut, I could tell that they were not the kind you get at the gas station. I graciously accepted your gift, and we pushed past the line of people at the door to leave.

That must have been the single-most pleasant dining experience I have ever had. Even if my boyfriend were somehow involved in organizing this, we were both pleasantly surprised by the quality of service. The way you treat each customer as an individual, rather than just another customer, is likely why you are the top-rated restaurant on Yelp for a 30 mile radius.

Keep doing what you’re doing. Thank you again.

Regards, Monica Trebal