"I'd like to speak with the manager." The young girl who took that message looked terrified. I'm sure a certain amount of concern ran through her mind. Most employees don't like to take those calls or have that question posed without some sense of where the next conversation is going to go.
A few minutes later, the manager showed up at my table and I proceeded to tell her what an great job her staff was doing. My wife and I had dropped into a Boston Market in Hagerstown, MD yesterday for a quick meal. The staff, mostly young adults, were very busy, but they were on their game. In the midst of a lot of activity, they were polite, helpful and efficient.
I think it's just as important to tell their bosses when they do well as when they do poorly. The manager was so relieved that we wanted to compliment the staff, rather than complain. She proceeded to tell us that they had been running under-staffed all day. It was comforting to hear a good report. So, the next time you have great service, say, "I'd like to speak with the manager."