Barbara Gantz and Johnny the Bagger

Johnny the Bagger

By Mac Anderson, founder of

Many years ago, Barbara Glanz was speaking to 3,000 employees of a large chain. Her speech was on customer service and how to create to make the customers want to come back. At the end of her presentation, she put up her contact information and said, “If anyone has any on service, I'd love to hear from you.”

About a month later, Barbara got a call. The young man on the phone said, “Barbara, my name is Johnny. I'm a bagger at the grocery store and I have Down Syndrome.” He then said, “I heard what you had to say about service and I liked it! But I thought – what can I do? I'm just a bagger. Then, I had an idea!”

“I love and sayings. So, I thought, each day, I could pick out my favorite saying and my dad and I could print it out on the computer. I could cut out the strips and sign the back of each one. Then, I'd fold each one up, and the next day, I'd drop it right in the customer's bag and say ‘I hope you enjoy my quote of the day.'” 

Then he asked, ”What do you think, Barbara?”

Barbara said, “Johnny, that's a wonderful idea!”

About a month later, Barbara got another call… this time from the store manager. The manager said, “Barbara, you're not going to believe what's happened at our store.” He said, “I went out the other day and one line was three times longer than the others. I went to the back of the line and invited all the customers to go through the shorter lines but… they would not budge. They all wanted to see Johnny's quote of the day! In fact, one lady said, ‘I used to come to the store once a week and now I come two to three times a week just to see the smile on his face when he drops in his favorite quote!'”

The manager went on to say, “The next day, I rounded up my team to share with them what Johnny was doing to create memories for our customers. Shortly thereafter, I noticed that our manager in the flower department was cutting off her broken flowers and finding an elderly lady to pin it on. He said, “Our meat department manager loved Snoopy and would bring in his favorite Snoopy stickers to stick on the packages. He would then go out and laugh with the customers.”

The manager then said, “It's amazing Barbara. It seems everyone in our store has found a way to put their mark on service. We're having the time of our lives and everyone in this small town is talking about us. And, guess what Barbara… it happened for one reason… Johnny decided to do something!”

You see, at the core of great service lies the heart of each employee. Johnny brought his heart to his job. He focused on what he could do in his daily work to make his customers feel special and their lives a little bit better.

Watch Barbara Gantz tell her story below to another audience – and you.

Watch Barbara Gantz tell the story of “Johnny the Bagger”

Coming Soon: Based on this story, Inspire21 is developing a special program, like Johnny's, where you can get remade templates, featuring quotes and sayings, professionally produced in a PDF Format for you to print, cut into strips and hand out to those you meet… It's easy and perfect for recruiting folks to your civic club or other events. Check back soon to learn more about 

“The Simple Truths of Service,” a book inspired by Johnny the Bagger captures the essence of service better than any book I've ever read. I guarantee it will grab your heart and not let go!  In this little book, by New York Times Bestselling author of ‘The One Minute Manager,' Ken Blanchard, Barbara Glanz tells Johnny's story about creating a service culture in your organization. To get “The Simple Truths of Service” GO HERE >



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