My, my…how time flies.
It seems like just yesterday that we opened our first restaurant in the East Bay. It was more than 35 years ago and some of those original employees are still with us. Through those years, Ray Chin has been a dining room manager for Scott’s Restaurants in both Jack London Square and Walnut Creek. He and I have had the pleasure of working together on our goal to provide the best dining experience for our guests at Scott’s.
Ray is a true leader. He creates an environment promoting teamwork, cooperation and a positive attitude so the needs of our guests are met. He is committed to complete guest satisfaction. He is loyal, supportive and reliable. For a restaurant owner – it doesn’t get any better than that.
I’d like to share with you the story of the evolution of the dining room manager uniform. In the early years, the host and hostesses dressed in a very classic, traditional wardrobe. Hosts wore tailored navy blue blazers, white oxford-cloth button-down collar shirts, and tan dress slacks. The hostesses wore long, tan pleated shirts, white silk blouses and also navy blue blazers. The dining room managers wore business attire and Ray was always professionally dressed in beautiful suits.
One day, Mr. Chin came to work in a show-stopping, white, double-breasted suit with a bright, colorful tie adorned with a fish motif. He wasn’t just “fly” he was “super-fly”! No manager could compete with his authentic style. I needed to find a wardrobe that would complement everyone on the management team. The decision was made to have a more uniform look for the managers, the hosts/hostesses and the banquet/catering sales team. Everyone would wear a navy blue blazer, earth-tone slacks or skirts (tan, taupe or charcoal grey) and a white shirt or blouse; but we needed a tie for the gentlemen. I enlisted the services of Ray Chin to help us pull the look together.
I wanted to purchase a tie that was of great quality and would be timeless. Ray and I discovered Robert Talbott in Carmel, California. Mr. Talbott’s clothing store for men was established in 1952 and used the finest materials and time-tested processes to create classic, traditional style and impeccable clothing designed to go “from the boardroom to the ballroom”. This was the level of sophistication I wanted for our dining room. We selected a hand-crafted, silk, burgundy and green “Best of Class” tie and committed to a purchase of two gross. (A gross is a dozen dozen or 144. So we were requesting almost 300 ties at $75 each!) When placing the order I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Talbott. I asked what my price would be and if I would receive a discount. His response was, “Young man, our quality is your discount. We pride ourselves on our dedication to both high quality and craftsmanship.” I will never forget those words.
Quality and attention to detail are words that Ray Chin and I believe are standard for Scott’s. The traditional burgundy and green ties are still worn in the dining room by the servers, bartenders and cocktail servers, but the managers change it up a bit. The navy blue blazer still anchors our management uniform. However; no matter what uniform we are wearing, we are united in our ultimate goal: complete guest satisfaction.
Ray Chin and I look forward to seeing you when we reopen. Remember … Everything’s going to be alright!
Founder, Scott’s Restaurants, Since 1976
P.S. Mr. Chin will be sporting a stylish new blue blazer next time you see him!