Waiter, Waiter!

Most of us go to a restaurant for a transcendental experience. That is transcendental with a small “t”. We want a pleasant experience. Yes, good food is an essential ingredient of the experience. However, the chemistry between the waiter and the customer determines if the experience will be transactional or transcendental.

I believe that by far the biggest determinant in a waiter’s ability to create the right environment for his customer is the waiter’s ability to exude pride and confidence in his work. This is exemplified in his ability to service customers from A to Z. Imagine how many times you have been to a restaurant where something has gone wrong; the food was cold or the order was botched up. Usually, there are two scenarios:

1. The waiter goes and tells the manager, in which case you need to recount your disappointment again, they take your food, bring you a fresh plate and maybe comp you a dessert. The waiter is embarrassed, and although he apologizes, his service may not be full-hearted for having swallowed his pride.

2. The waiter apologizes for the food, brings you a fresh plate, and takes a percentage off of the bill or offers you desert. The waiter gushes over you to make sure the rest of your experience is a pleasant one, and thus you feel satisfaction.

The second scenario is indicative of a waiter who is empowered. He is able to own the “customer experience” giving him more of an opportunity to exude pride and confidence in his work. Many employers miss out on giving their employers the ability to exude pride and confidence.

I often ask myself, “am I proud of the work that I am doing for my client?” When my answer is yes, I am a different person for my clients as opposed to when the answer is no. Over the years, I have realized that this is the single most important question that I could ask myself.

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