WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — The service industry was hit hardest during the pandemic between supply chain problems, finding employees, and even just getting people in the door.
In our 'Service with a Smile' series, we're highlighting restaurant employees who dug deep and gave people a positive experience, keeping them coming back again and again and again...
El Bronco in Warner Robins is a staple, known for the "best margaritas in town." Javier Magana and his family opened the restaurant in 2000.
Carl Randolph started working there as a server three years ago. You might not know who Carl is, but does the nickname El Chocolate ring any bells? Maybe Carlos?
Randolph goes by many names, and every nickname is a testament to who he is as a server.
"He always goes above and beyond and remembers his regular customers by name. He has an amazing personality and is always smiling. He even knows what we want before we order it! He definitely deserves recognition," wrote Melissa Ann.
He's served since he was 20-years-old and he loves it.
"Each and every table is different," he said. "It's a partnership."
A group of nurses, including Morgan Hamand, started eating at El Bronco at the start of the pandemic in 2020.
When Randolph saw them in their scrubs, he decided to anonymously buy them drinks and dessert. They later found out it was their server who paid for them.
"He just says, 'You guys are nurses, it's your job to take care of other people, it's my job to serve food, so I just want to make sure you guys know that what you do is appreciated,'" recalled Hamand.
Randolph says he tries to treat every table like family.
"We're on Watson Boulevard, you can pick any restaurant you want to. There are restaurants on top of restaurants, and for you to want to stop and come here and enjoy your meal with me... I'm just extremely grateful," said Randolph.
Despite having his own already big family of 12 children, he has no problem extending it.
General Manager Yadira Magana-Grube says it's important now more than ever to have good customer service as businesses continue rebounding.
"Everyone has been isolated for so long... it is in our human nature to need a smile," she said.
Randolph says he tries to read the faces of his customers because he genuinely cares about them.
"I'm big on energy... if you're having a good day, I'm going to try and make it even better. If you're having a bad day, I want you to leave feeling a little bit better about yourself," he said.