Downtown Brighton retailers sign up for Zingerman’s training

The Downtown Brighton Principal Shopping District (PSD) is stepping up its game in an effort to stay competitive with surrounding communities. A total of 80 employees from more than 20 different businesses in the PSD will be attending ZingTrain, a customer service training program created and operated by the world famous, Zingerman’s. Firmly planted in Ann Arbor, Zingerman’s, and its community of businesses, is widely known for its excellence in quality, customer service and branding.

The idea to have the PSD offer this training to its merchants came from Brighton City Councilmember Kristoffer Tobbe last summer. Tobbe spoke to the PSD Board about offering the training to the downtown businesses, and to have the PSD share the cost with interested merchants in the district.

“Over the past 10 years, we have established our downtown business district as the downtown to be in,” said Tobbe. “We have had enormous success as a community, and have made the downtown business district the heart of not just the city of Brighton, but also the entire surrounding Brighton area. I am, however, one to believe that we should appreciate what we have achieved and work towards making it even better. We have a great place, so let’s invest and do things that can make us better.”

The PSD Board liked the idea and had an overwhelming response from its businesses.  Since the main purpose of the PSD is to market the downtown area, and to keep people shopping, dining and using the services in the district, offering this training seemed to fit with its goals.

“All of us can improve our service,” said Nick Palizzi, owner of Downtown Main Martini Bar and Grille, PSD Board Member and founder of, an independent restaurant group made up of many restaurants in downtown. “If an opportunity comes along to provide better service to our guests, why wouldn’t we take it?”

The training consists of two sessions, both aimed to give attendees the inside scoop on the tactics and techniques that have helped make Zingerman’s a strong Michigan success story. This approach is easily implemented, and many businesses around the country have been successful with this training program.

“If we can elevate our customer service levels, as a community, it would allow us all to prosper,” said Tobbe. “Our business owners would thrive, their staff would earn more money and be more satisfied in their roles, and our community would become known as a place where people treat their customers well.”

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