Service makes all the difference

By PAT BROWN,

When it comes to customer service, Justin Daniels takes it to a whole other level--if you don’t believe, just try it. 

We had the opportunity to visit with Justin Daniels the other day after being given a tip about his abilities, and  our source was right.   Justin probably takes more concern for the customer than he does even for the business--Popeye’s Fried Chicken in Magee.  

But the truth is, good customer service will in fact take care of the business. 

Daniels is all about customer service, from the greeting as soon as you walk in the door to a recommendation on how you can get the best value when it comes to your meal.  Justin knows what he is talking about, and if there is more value to your order with a special he will tell you about that also. 

While Justin is new to Popeyes, he has restauranting in his blood.  He is the son of Shelia Daniels, who operates Country Kitchen in Mendenhall, formerly Cline’s, where Shelia grew up with her dad, Truman Cline, operating the business. 

 When he was 6 years old, Justin started working in Cline’s Corner Cafe in Jackson.  He said they would only allow him to wash dishes and work the sides. 

 Justin says he has aspergers, a mild form of autism. 

Justin, 25, keeps residence between his mother’s place in Mendenhall and Magee.  His employer, Skip Russell, said he left home two hours early walking to make sure he made it to work on time.  Skip suggested that he might want to get a bicycle, and the next day Justin showed up on a new bike. 

Russell said he wished he could hire a whole staff like Daniels because of his great attitude toward customer service. 

Daniels says his upbeat attitude comes from his perspective. “I consider myself as a deacon of light in a world of darkness,” he said.

He says he tries to live by the Golden Rule-”Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.”

In his spare time, Daniels said he was a bit of a computer geek but he does not game as much as he used to.  He has taken up creative writing and enjoys writing about fantasy as well as sci-fi and aliens. 

Daniels said that just like everyone he has some challenges.  He doesn’t like to fail at anything, he admitted, and accepting even constructive criticism is hard because he likes to succeed and make other people happy.  He said as he matures though these issues, though, they become easier and he realizes that everyone has flaws and “that is what makes everyone unique.”   

He likened life situations to the Olympics. He said, “You have the medal winners and most folks would like that first place medal.  Then there are some people who would like to just have won a second or a third place.”

  Then he posed the question, “Do you know where I would like to be?”  He said he would like to be one of those pillars on which the athletes stand.  He said,  “It raises them up and that is what I like to do -- raise people up.” 

When Daniels started with Popeye’s, he worked three to four days a week training.  His shifts progressed to five to six days a week, and next week he gets the opportunity to work some night shifts. 

He said he not only enjoys the customers but working with the other employees also is great. 

He said he likes to open the door for the other employees when they get to work and  jokingly say to them,“Welcome to Popeyes!”  when they arrive at work.