Ally

"One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising."
~ Jim Rohn

1501 16th Street #109, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 341-0532
www.matisindianexpress.com

My friends and family know that one of my biggest pet peeves is discourteous behavior. Whether it's a friend that continually flakes, a car that cuts you off on the freeway or a salesperson with a nasty attitude-- rude behavior is rude behavior. Now I know a lot of people who go out to eat and say as long as the food is good they could care less about the customer service. I'm not one of those people. I'm just not...customer service matters to me. Maybe it harkens back to my hostessing and waitressing days but I feel that customer service IS an integral part of the dining experience. I do believe that bad service can completely ruin a meal...trust me, I've had it happen. On the flip side, a good dining service experience can make a meal. Anyhow, I bring this topic up because I usually don't write about "fast" food establishments but I wanted to comment about the service at Mati's Indian Express.

Now, Mati's is one of those places that's set up kind of like a Panda Express. By that I mean, you order at the counter, you get your plate of eats and then seat yourself. My friend Anthony introduced me to Mati's back when they were located out in Natomas. Recently, however they moved to the Fremont Building in Midtown, by Nishiki's and in the process upgraded their decor. It's still a seat-yourself place but the decor is less cafeteria-esque and more Midtown cafe now. Anyhow, the food at Mati's is flavorful, portions are plentiful and the prices are reasonable. Combination plates (which include rice and a choice of 2 dishes) range from $5.99 for a small to a $7.99 for a large. You can also get the dishes a la carte if you wish or go all out and get the Meal For Two ( 3 small sides, 3 samosas, 2 naans and a large side of rice for $19.99). My favorite dishes are the butter chicken (tender bite-sized pieces of chicken breast mixed with a rich tomato sauce), aloo gobhi (sauteed cauliflower and potatoes with a tiny bit of heat) and of course - the garlic naan (mmmm!). I'm not much  for super spicy dishes but I do want to give the lamb vindaloo and their samosas a go soon...last time I was there, another patron ordered both and they looked delicious! Also FYI, dishes are marked as to whether they are vegan and gluten-free which makes it a great place to take friends who have dietary restrictions. But all these things aside, what made me decide to write about Mati's is not their tasty food; but rather, their exemplary customer service. Every time I've been there I've seen nothing but friendly, hospitable behavior exhibited toward guests. Their service always starts with a cheerful greeting, they're happy to answer questions and give samples and they always seem genuinely glad that you're dining there. Some of the items (like the naan) are made to order in the back and if they run behind a bit they always apologize, keep you abreast of the status and bring it out to your table when it's ready. It's small gestures like these that I appreciate and make me return time and time again. In a world where a lot of customer service has been replaced by automation or apathetic workers, it's nice to see a business that still embraces the idea of treating the customer like they're special. I think oftentimes businesses forget that customers (and their pocketbooks) are what allows them to stay open. Anyhow, hopefully we continue to get businesses like this in Sacramento. Good job Mati's and see you soon!
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