I love to talk shop so much that I can’t help but peek behind the scenes when I travel.
Every summer when my kids were young, we went to Tyler Place – a magical spot that feels more “camp” than “resort.”
But make no mistake, there is nothing campy about the food at Tyler Place. This vacation consistently draws persnickety palettes back year after year for its gourmet, farm-to-table menu.
And there’s a 3-year wait for a reservation at Tyler Place because a family has to “drop out” before a new family can take their place. And, well, families rarely drop out. They come back year after year and even return with their grandkids.
By the time I got the call that we’d been “accepted,” it felt more like being admitted to Harvard than just handing over a credit card to pay for a week-long vacation.
The Tylers are certainly doing something right!
What’s also distinctive about Tyler Place is that the Tylers themselves mingle, run activities, and eat with the guests.
Everywhere guests look, there’s a Tyler.
“What percentage of the hash browns do you think should be crunchy?” One of the Tylers asked me one morning in the line for breakfast.
I had never thought about the ideal ratio of crunchy-to-mushy hashbrowns, but he sure had.
And it turned Mr. Tyler was there in line with me to inspect the breakfast potatoes, which he felt should be “65%-brown-and-crisp to 35% white and mushy.”
As a business owner, I understood that having the Tylers roaming amongst paying guests was a way to quality-control the operation. And I appreciated that they cared enough to stay engaged.
It certainly would’ve be easier for them to hire out the day to day management of the resort and “stay out of the weeds.” But I’m not sure they’d have a 3-year waiting list if they didn’t obsess about the crunchy-to-mushy ratio of the hashbrowns.
In my business, I’m Mrs. Tyler.
I have all kinds of standards that need enforcing – all of which are as fastidious as Mr. Tyler’s hash brown ratios – but I can only do this if I’m connected, engaged, and there.
Mrs. Tyler wants her presence known. She’s watching, overhearing, and connected.
The mice don’t play when Mrs. Tyler’s around!