Giving due credit 

A few years back I ripped into the local fast-food service sector in this space, finding that customer service at these places was at an all-time low in Central Arkansas.

Today, I can tell you that folks like Bobby Watson are not going to let service ruin a customer’s fast-food experience. Watson is a manager at the Wendy’s Hamburgers on Markham across from War Memorial Stadium, which happens to be pretty much the only place our 4-year-old will eat away from home, so we experience it a lot. Watson is like a coach, pushing his employees to handle each customer with courtesy and efficiency -- which, of course, is exactly the type service you get from Watson himself.

We noted that a trophy now sits at the counter, signifying the local franchise’s best store for the most recent quarter, shared with the Searcy Wendy’s. With Bobby Watson there, is it any wonder they’re the best?

n RIVERFEST ROLLING: Riverfest announced its full lineup and plans to the media and friends Wednesday night at the Woman’s City Club. The headliner lineup includes such must-see acts as Train, Pat Green, Dwight Yoakam, the Neville Brothers, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and much more.

“Everything is set and it’s like a big ol’ snowball running down the hill. We’re just chasing it,” executive director DeAnna Shannon said. “We’re now just down to the weather.”

You read and hear a lot about the music, but Riverfest also continues to grow its family activities portion of the festival, as Shannon notes proudly. “We’re very well-rounded,” she said.

The visual arts will move from the River Market pavilions back to the riverfront walk on the Little Rock side. The Build-a-Bear tour workshop will be on hand, and all the arms of the U.S. military will provide volunteer support and activity tents, including the U.S. Navy’s flight simulator and dive tank. Ford Motor Co. is bringing in an interactive exhibit to the north side, and Alltel Corp. will show off its race car simulator. The Arkansas Queen riverboat will be providing rides. The International Village returns. The Kids Area on the Little Rock side, which was a hit last year in a new location, will be even better, Shannon said.


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