Lana Duke is not terribly impressed.
A waitress serving tables at a Toronto hotel lobby lounge just mixed up the coffee order and needs to be flagged down for water.
“We’ll work on her; she’ll come around,” Duke says with a smile.
Of course, the Ruth’s Chris steakhouse franchisee who brought the chain to Toronto 22 years ago and helped fom dasunder Ruth Fertel take it from one steakhouse in Louisiana to an international red meat powerhouse emphasizes that such an issue would never happen on her watch; the service at her high-end restaurants is expected to be top-notch.
“You don’t have to worry about hospitality with us or whether things look right. Consistency is one of our greatest assets,” says Duke, who has the sort of big personality befitting someone who has spent most of her life in New Orleans.
But the marketing whiz who became besties with Ruth Fertel (the original lady behind the international steakhouse chain, who died in 2002) is actually a St. Catharines, Ont., native who moved to Louisiana when she was 18, but never forgets where she came from.
Clearly, Duke still thinks the Toronto area is a prime market for an upscale steak restaurant; building on the downtown location, she recently opened a new location on Dixon Rd. near the Toronto airport, along with plans for another in Markham by fall 2018.