Give them the PICKLE!

Farrell's restaurant

Remember Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor?  Bob Farrell says the key to his success was “giving the customer the pickle” which was inspired by a letter he received from a disappointed customer who, up until then, had been a huge fan of Farrell’s.  He explained in his letter that he loved Farrell’s pickles so much that he always asked for an extra pickle with his burger, which he got for free.  One day he asked for his extra pickle and the waiter said, “you’ll need to order a side of pickles, which costs seventy five cents.”  This loyal customer felt so put off by this response that he vowed to never come back to Farrell’s.  Luckily for Bob, he wrote a letter explaining his disappointment.  Bob Farrell took this situation to heart and turned “given ’em the pickle” into his customer-oriented rally cry.

In a video series titled, “Give em the PICKLE!” Bob breaks down his customer-centered philosophy into four key areas.

  • Service:Make serving others your #1 Priority. You work in a noble profession, be proud of what you do.
  • Attitude:Choose your Attitude. How you think about your customers, is how you will treat them.
  • Consistency: Set high standards, and stick to them. Customers return because they like what happened last time.
  • Teamwork: Look for ways to make each other look good. In the end, everything ends up in front of the customer!

You can find out more about this video training series and purchase it here.

When I grew up we would always go to Farrell’s for birthdays.  It was a great restaurant and I was sad to see them close.  Farrell’s was eventually sold the company to Marriott corporation and most were closed by the mid-90’s.  Fortunately, a group has reclaimed the Farrell’s name and has opened new locations in Southern California and Hawaii.  You can read about the history and see their new locations at

Are you giving your customers the pickle?