‘Mo Guests ‘Mo Laughter
Mother and daughter, Louise and Kristi Kastelein, have been working at Uncle Ed’s Restaurant since 2007. Even though normal daily work includes the basics such as wiping table ledges, setting-up water and coffee stations, taking reservations, and of course serving guests, their job duties go way beyond that. Sometimes it could even be making up the joke of the day and lighting up the face of a particular guest who might be in a bad mood. That’s because Louise and Kristi know that the Uncle Ed’s experience is about the personality of our servers, the presentation of our food, and making sure all of our guests feel at home.
“One customer told us that I was smart and sassy enough that they felt very comfortable and very much at home. And that is how we want them to feel. Some of our customers have been coming in for decades, and lately, we are seeing a mix of all ages!”Kristi Kastelein
They know their regular customers by name, their favourite table, and also by their favourite plate. Years ago, they also introduced a treasure chest for the kids, complete with colouring sheets, crayons, and even little trinkets for them because they knew the kids loved it. Lately though, both Louise and Kristi find themselves listing their own favourite food plates for a number of new customers arriving daily. This could be anything from our world famous sausage, to our smoked pork chops, to both their favourites of meatballs. They take an extra bit of time for new guests because they both know firsthand the value of showcasing Uncle Ed’s as a family environment.
But it comes down to more than just creating a family environment for these two. It also comes down to supporting a family environment as well. In this case, Louise almost lost her husband, Kristi’s father, to cancer more than six years ago. So now, during every November, they both sport fake moustaches to raise money and join the fight with Movember against prostate and testicular cancer in men.
“We get ribbed a lot,” explains Louise and laughs. “Oh isn’t Halloween over? Did you lose a bet? But that all changes when we explain that we are raising money and awareness. Now some of our customers even come in just to see what moustache we are going to wear! To date we have raised just under $5,000 and plan on raising more in the future.”
But, for all that they do, Louise and Kristi also enjoy working side by side, administering their own brand of fun and delivering top-notch customer service. They both agree that their day is made when they hear the guest say, “We’ll be back!” One can almost picture Kristi, stroking her fake moustache with a smile, and silently looking forward for the next guest to arrive so she can tell her prepared joke of the day.