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Lewes, Delaware
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March 13, 1998     Cape Gazette
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March 13, 1998

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Kitchen Tune-Up wins national award By Rosanne Pack A January trip to Florida "is of- ten a tonic to lift the winter blahs, but two Rehoboth Beach busi- nessmen got even more of an adrenaline rush than they expect- ed when they attended a business convention early in the year. Bob DiToto and Ron Reichert, • owners of a Cape Region Kitchen Tune-Up franchise, were honored with the 1997 Customer Service Award at the corporation&apos;s annual national convention. DiToto and Reichert not only were recipients of one of the highest honors awarded by Kitchen Tune-Up, they were chosen as a direct result of how their own customers feel about the quality of their work and their attitude and, overall service. Kitchen Tune-Up provides cus- tomer comment cards for each job conducted by owners of their 300 franchises. In the case of the Re- hoboth men, their work literally spoke for itself. Dave Haglund, company presi- dent, said that their sincere desire to make customer service their top priority earned them the presti- gious award. He said, each month, the home office received cards rating DiToto's and Reichert's service, professionalism and qual- ity of work as excellent. "We had no idea that we had won the Customer Service Award," Reichert said• "Before announcing our names, they be- gan to read customer comment cards and I thought that some of them sounded like jobs that ,we had done• Then they called our names and presented us with the plaque• We were thrilled!" DiToto said that this type of award is particularly rewarding because of the business philoso- phy that he and his partner adhere tO. "We've found that referral from customers brings us a tremendous amount of business; if we do a Owners of the first Kitchen Tune-Up franchise in Delaware were recently honored with the corporation's 1997 Customer Service Award. Pictured at the annual national convention are (l-r) Dave Haglund, corporation president, and Rehoboth Kitchen Tune-Up owners Ron Reichert and Bob DiToto. good job for people, they are go- ing to mention it," DiToto said. "This award reminds us that we are in business to please the cus- tomer. "We make every effort to be on time and on budget; customers ap- preciate that and the word." Corporate recognition is not new to DiToto and Reichert, since they opened their franchise three years ago, they earned a monthly customer service award and more recently were recognized for in- 'creasing their sales revenue by 28 percent. The corporation as a whole was honored by "Entrepre- neur" magazine as the first-place franchisor in the cabinet refacing and remodeling category in the publication's 19th Annual Fran- chise 500. Kitchen Tune-Up has been a repeat winner in that cate- gory for several years. The corporation recently added a custom cabinet program for those who are building a new home or installing a new kitchen. The new service includes a mobile component so that samples can be taken into homes and customized ght computer designs can be devel- oped for each kitchen. Previously, Kitchen Tune-Up did only refacing, reconditioning and restoration of existing cabi- nets. "What we offer is kitchen solu- tions for any budget," Reichert said. "We will find something to offer anyone who wants kitchen work done. We can recondition the wood that you already have, totally replace cabinets or any- tiring in between." Until now, DiToto and Reichert have been a two-man show, but their business has grown so in the last year that they will be hiring assistants. DiToto said their busi- ness averaged approximately 100 projects last year, and they are al- ready hearing from individual homeowners as well as some apartment owners who want jobs done before the tourist season. "We are definitely growing to the point of hiring help," DiToto said. "One apartment owner who has approached us has a complex of 200 units. I don't think that we can continue to do it allourselves much longer." for eco-tourism guide help the local economy without harming the environment•" "Delaware's Eco-Discoveries" is part of an ongoing project to de- velop a coordinated nature-based tourism effort in Delawaxe. The 1998 edition is a collaboration be- tween the University of Delaware Sea Grant College Program, the Sussex County Convention and Tourism Commission, and Thom- son Chesapeake Publications. For an inventory or to list a na- ture-based event, attraction, or ac- tivity in this year's guid e , contact Jim Falk, University of Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Ser- vice in Lewes at 645-4235, or by e-mail at <James.Falk. @mvs.udel•edu>. There is no charge for listing events or attractions in the book- let, but completing the inventory form is required to ensure the ac- curacy of the information. The deadline for submitting in- formation is Friday, April 10• Information sou From bald cypress to horseshoe crabs, Delaware's natural won- ders are gaining increasing recog- nition from "ecotourists" thanks to "Delaware' s Eco-Discoveries," the award-winning guide to the state's nature-based tourism at- tractions. More than 100,000 copies of the first two editions of the guide have been distributed. The 1998 edition is now in de- velopment, and businesses and or- ganizations have until April 10 to submit their information about up- coming nature-related events and activities. "Ecotourism is on the rise on the United States, as more and more people get 'back to nature' through bird watching, canoeing and other activities," said Jim Falk, marine recreation and tourism specialist for the Univer- sity of Delaware Sea Grant Mh- fine Advisory Service. "Delaware has a lot to offer the nature-based traveler. However, visitors need to know where to go, how to get there, and what to do when they arrive at their Delaware destina- tion. The goal of the guidebook is to provide specific information on events, sites of interest, businesses who provide services and other in- formation useful to nature-minded individuals•" • In a survey conducted last year, Falk discovered that two-thirds of the guide's readers found the pub- lication "very useful," with about 68 percent indicating they had va- cationed in Delaware. Fifty-four percent of the respondents were college graduates and 53 percent had household incomes of about $50,000. "Our results parallel other stud- ies of nature-based travelers," Falk said. "We found that the folks who read our guide travel extensively and especially enjoy visiting historical and cultural at- tractions• These visitors tend to / REHOBOTH / .... " " / RESORT REALTY J ...... Alkllmll Olmla Relkllsiil Nffill Inc. / • NASSAU PARK t'  Beautiful, well maintained, fully furnished, 3 BR, 2 • BA singlewide mobile home in a great location. 800 Kings Hwy. 4157 Hwy. One Home Warranty Ran Jed. JUST REDUCED Lewes Rehoboth TO $1£,000. Call SOB LOFLAND at 645-2881 for 302-645-2881 302-227-5000 more details. #41-A 800-800-4129 800-800-4134 Norwest Mortgage, Inc. 4321 Highway One Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 Direct (302) 226-1863 Office (302) 227-5700 Toll Free (888) 217-5700 If you're considering • Purchasing a home • Building a home • Refinancing your current home I CAN HELP! 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