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Rodriguez treats each customer as a friend

Best waiter/waitress/bartender

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Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012 12:46 am | Updated: 12:45 pm, Fri Jan 27, 2012.

When you go to a restaurant, the quality of the food is equally as important as the person who's serving it. While some restaurants may have amazing food, if the staff doesn't seem excited to do their job, the food might as well be horrible.

Luckily, the balance between good food and good service is easily achieved between Sakana Sushi and Grill and Ramon Rodriguez, the winner in the "Best Waiter" category.

Sakana, with locations in Ahwatukee, Glendale, Scottsdale and Superstition Springs, is well known for both its friendly staff and its good, affordable sushi.

The restaurant has won various awards for its quality sushi. In 2007, Sakana was named "The Best Sushi in Phoenix" by azcentral.com.

Rodriguez first started working at Sakana Sushi in Ahwatukee more than 10 years ago, and he's loved it ever since.

Rodriguez gets to know everyone who comes into Sakana on a personal level. He doesn't view his job as an obligation, or view his customers as a paycheck.

"I enjoy working with my coworkers and getting to know all of the customers," he said.

It seems as if there is no magic formula for being the "perfect" waiter. Rodriguez says that he simply treats each customer as a friend. In fact, this almost seems like common sense.

Rodriguez is in no way a stranger to the "Best Of Ahwatukee" competition. In fact, just last year, he won in the exact same category, so it seems as if his enthusiasm and passion are well received by the people that he serves.

Rodriguez really enjoys working at Sakana; he couldn't stress that enough. He loves talking to everyone who comes in, especially the regulars who visit two to three times a week. He is able to learn more about the customers and develop a relationship much greater than the typical waiter/customer relationship, and his customers greatly appreciate that.

Arselia Gales is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University.

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