Whether in a fine dining establishment or the neighborhood taco shop, the manner and form with which your meal is presented affects your degree of enjoyment. If your waiter is a horrid little troll, then it’s highly likely that your palette will be tainted when the chef’s creation arrives. Conversely, the pancakes at IHOP always taste better when your coffee cup is never empty and the syrup is hot.
I have a friend making a trip to Kansas City to visit her kids and grandchildren. Her excitement to visit reminded me of my trip there last spring.
We went to a restaurant, can’t believe I don’t remember the name right now, but I ordered a pomegranate martini. Halfway through the glass, our marvelous server appears, inconspicuously, with an empty chilled martini glass, and flawlessly poured my drink from its room-temperature glass into it’s new frosty home. Didn’t waste a drop, she made one fluid motion, smiled at me and walked away. She didn’t interrupt our conversation. She didn’t start taking plates away. She didn’t say one word.
I had to turn all the way around in my chair and watch her walk away. I looked straight at my friend and said, “Now THAT’S what I ‘m talking about!” That’s service. That kind of service will make me go back to that restaurant every single time I’m in Kansas City. I doubt I would have tipped her as well as I did if she hadn’t done that one thing, that small gesture that was probably so simple to her, but made such a difference to me.
A good server might have asked if I wanted a new glass. A great server simply brought me the chilled glass, allowing me to decline her suggestion rather than make a request. Why was this girl the exception, not the rule? In a land filled with gourmet eateries, posh specialty bars, and signature monthly food clubs, there is more attention given to the color of the napkin rings than the flair of the people who put them in our laps.
It’s not what you serve, it’s not even that you serve. It’s HOW you serve.
The restaurant was called Houston’s.