Lone Star Bavarian
SHOP: Lone Star Bavarian LOCATION: Fort Worth, Texas OWNER: Trent Cole
1) Cole spent many years working in the restaurant and hotel world, which he says has had a big impact on his business and customer service philosophies. The circular counter in the reception area is one example: The counter is meant to mimic a restaurant bar. “In a restaurant, the bar is that place that’s warm and receiving,” he says. “It’s the place where everybody comes together.”
2) Throughout the waiting area, the walls are covered with accolades and certificates noting the shop’s dedication to community service. “My feeling is that people want to patronize a business that isn’t just in it to fleece them for money,” Cole says. “They are more comfortable with a business that’s tied to the community and giving back.” The shop works closely with Street Survival, a national nonprofit dedicated to teaching driver safety to younger drivers. Locally, the shop also donates frequently to the Humane Society.
3) Cole wanted to create an environment of relaxation and comfort throughout the shop, and designed the reception area to feel personable and stress-free. His collection of miniature cars and auto memorabilia are displayed in glass cabinets and on the wall, creating “eye candy” for customers to explore while they wait.
4) Though the facility was completely redesigned upon purchase, there is still one reminder of its previous life as a tile showroom: the intricate tile work throughout the space. Cole estimates there is close to $150,000 worth of tile work in the facility, including the Italian marble in the reception area.
“One of the first things we hear from new clients is, ‘I didn’t expect this,’” he says. “It’s a distrustful industry from the get-go, so to have a client wowed before you even open your mouth is a great way to start a relationship.”