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Here’s a Wow! experience-simple and easy to execute with multiple opportunities to practice it on a daily basis. This will make a lasting impression on your dining guests.
Guest: Excuse me, sir, where is the lady’s room?
Server: Go down the hallway, take a left, when you see the kitchen, go around the corner and take two steps down. If you see the elevator, then you’ve gone too far. Back track about 15 feet and take a right. You can’t miss it. But if you get lost, just come back and I’ll explain it to you again.
Does that sound familiar? At so many restaurants that seems to be the norm. And I imagine that most people don’t think twice about it. But really, there’s not a whole lot of service involved there.
Okay, here’s a simple ‘Wow!’ idea taught to me by Mandy, who was the GM of J. Bucks in St. Louis, when I worked there. What do they do that is so amazing? Well, for starters, they never tell people where the restrooms are located. And I mean never. “What?!” you say, “That’s not very courteous or nice or good service.” They also don’t ever even direct guests to the restroom. Instead, they simply SHOW them. That’s right. They take the time and they walk their guests to the restroom. They show them and then there is no getting lost. There’s no mistaking- did she say left or right at the end of the long hallway? Maybe it’s because St. Louis is in Missouri which is known as the ’Show Me’ state. I’m not sure. Certainly not all restaurants in Missouri do this. Maybe it’s actually because the people at J. Buck’s in St. Louis know how much of an impact something seemingly so insignificant can actually have upon their guests.
If a guest happens to ask a bartender behind the bar who is very busy or a server who has a tray of food in their hand, and if that staff member is not able at that moment, to actually walk the guest, then they will say to the guest, “Just a moment, please, Ma’am.” Then they will request a nearby colleague to escort the guest to the restroom. Yes it may seem like a very small thing but the impression is lasting. Think about it. If the people at an establishment think that something seemingly so insignificant as showing where the restroom is is important, it’s more than likely that they take pride in other seemingly small things as well. Like the cleanliness of said restroom.
So, next time your guest asks you where the restroom is, take the few extra seconds and walk them to where it is located. Or at least close enough that you can then stretch out your hand and say- “right there, sir, ma’am, up that step.”
Yes, it’s simple. It’s just walking them to the restroom. Yes, it will take a few seconds of your time but I guarantee it will definitely make a lasting positive impression on them. I’m also willing to bet you that more than a couple of them will comment either to their companions or to you how impressed they are. And their comment will be “Wow, now that is service.” Imagine if they haven’t even begun their dining experience yet but you have just set the tone of, helpfulness, courtesy and friendliness. They already have a good first impression of you and your establishment. (Hopefully, said bathroom IS tidy, clean, neat and smelling fresh)
They say going the extra mile is important in establishing rapport with a customer and in showing that you care. Well, I say, how about just going the extra 50 feet?
I rest my case.
Thank you for enjoying this serving of Soupfly. This post and the last one on Paying Attention to Detials– are actually chapters from my upcoming Best Seller-GETTING TO WOW! First Class Restaurant Service. Soon, we will be taking advanced pre-sale orders of the book at a special early bird pricing.
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Thank you and Cheers!!
Christoff J. Weihman