Category Archives: Passion

What makes a Diner Great?

In some circles, I am known as Diner Bob because of my passion to seek out and enjoy great diner’s around the country.  It stems from my growing up in New Jersey, the capital of Diners in America in my opinion, and living in Sterling, Worcester County, Massachusetts for 30 years. Worcester is the home of the Worcester Lunch Car Company which produced more than 600 Diners between 1906 and 1957.

Nautilus Diner

Nautilus Diner, Madison, NJ

I had the opportunity to eat breakfast a few times at one of my all time favorites this past week in Madison, New Jersey. The Nautilus has been around since as long as I can remember. I grew up only a few miles away. It hasn’t changed much over the years. There are pictures on the walls of how it used to be and it is hard to tell the difference. I think that is the first rule in being a great Diner, consistency. This applies to any service organization. The second rule is a great product – in the case of the Nautilus, it is great food. Over the course of a few days, I had the opportunity to eat breakfast at the Nautilus a number of times. At each occasion, my party was seated promptly, tended to immediately and quickly served our orders exactly as ordered. All Diner’s across America can take a lesson here; provide consistent service, cook great food, have wait staff that are there to serve providing quick, attentive and accurate service and you just might have a successful business.  It isn’t complicated, but it is rare to find.

And you needn’t take my word for it, this past Sunday we were honored to enjoy breakfast with Governor Chris Christy (look closely) sitting just a few tables away.  As it turns out, this large man (in size and stature) who lives a few miles, New Jersey frequents the Nautilus. A great compliment to any Diner!

My hat is off to the Nautilus in Madison, New Jersey.  Setting a great example! Long live the American Diner!

Posted in Customer Service, Diners, Passion. Tagged with .

Hidden Beauty in Central Massachusetts

Central Massachusetts Rail Trails

The Central Massachusetts Rail Trails are a gem for nature lovers of all kinds. With miles of trails along old rail routes, the views are amazing, the nature is plentiful and the peace tranquil and energizing.  A walk, bike ride or jog is the best way to take it all in.  Pack a lunch if you plan to stay a while but certainly carry some drinking water.  The map shows a recent ride I took starting in Rutland and ending in Barre.  It was a 7 mile ride through the woods and past ponds and brooks.

In some cases, tunnels were put in under roads and in others bridges were built over waterways or ravines. Along the way, you might find a few hikers, bikers and maybe some horse-back riders. You may see some fisherman, dog-walkers or kayakers. You will certainly see and hear the birds of the area along with migrant swan, geese, duck and Herron.

The trail is part of the Wachusett Greenway a stretch of Massachusetts Rail Trail which are old rail lines recaptured for the use of the public. Wachusett Greenways’ mission is connecting the Wachusett communities with Trails and Greenways. Their major project is building and helping to maintain 30 miles of the Mass Central Rail Trail through Barre, Oakham, Rutland, Holden, West Boylston and Sterling.

Click on any of the pictures below for a full size image. If you get a chance, take a run out to Rutland or Barre and have yourself a nice walk in the woods.



Wachusett Greenways, Rutland, MA

Wachusett Greenways Tunnel

Trail cut into mountainside

Stump Art in the middle of nowhere


Dieing Forest - Living Watershed

Posted in Nature, Passion.

Where is the Passion

So many words flow through our brains every day.  But how often do we hear the word passion and how is it used?  I bet if you think about it, you will find it used in the arts, causes people have, things people stand for, and love.  How often do you find it in business?  And when you do, is it sincere?  Ah, there’s the rub.  Is passion sincere or is it marketing hype? Is it written by an ad agency or does it come from the soul of an organization. 

Well life is so short that we need to find passion in our business.  We need to find it in the way we conduct our business, the vision for our business, the results we aim for, the value we provide.  If we have passion for these things, our customers will share our passion.

So this is a call to arms to think about passion and how it fills your life everyday. If it doesn’t?  Time for a change.

Posted in Passion.