Too often there’s so much focus on lack, or disappointment, or negativity, instead of sharing The Good News. The expression is if you don’t like something you’re more likely to tell 10 people; and when you do like something, only 2. So, I wanted to take a moment to highlight a pleasant experience at Wagamama (Prudential Center) that made me enjoy my meal, and the restaurant, that much more.
While working the Boston Marathon Expo at Hynes Convention Center I had a 40 minute lunch break. Honestly, it was just enough time to grab a bite to eat and briefly relax, after navigating the maze of crowded runners about the aisles.
I was craving more than fast food, particularly a hearty soup, and hoping for something on the healthier side. I opted for Wagamama. The restaurant had just opened for the day and the server was not only attending to guests at tables, but greeting guests at the door as well. Regardless, I waited only a moment before being approached and welcomed.
“I’m wondering if I can be in and out in about 20 minutes,” I inquired. I was told that because they had just opened, ‘It was a high possibility, although it wasn’t a guarantee, they’d do everything to make it happen.’
This is a great way to let the guest know you understand their needs and you’ll do your best.
Simultaneously, you empower the guest to make their own decision to stay, and make no commitment or promises. *It’s always when you make a guarantee that something happens! (Murphy’s Law!)*
My server pointed out menu items that would be speediest, which was easy enough since I wanted Spicy Chicken Ramen with Spinach and a cup of Green Tea.
The server assistant brought my soup and tea, and only two bites (slurps?) into it the server came back to check that everything was to my satisfaction. She then dropped my check saying take as long as I like, but wanted me to be prepared to leave when I needed to. Honestly, this was all under 8 minutes. I ended up staying about 18 minutes, with the freedom to leave on my time.
Working in the service and hospitality industry, from busser to management,
being a guest has taught me a lot about proactivity and expectations.
Dining out helps hone ones skills to realize what the guests needs and wants are. From a customer perspective, you then learn the difference between meeting and exceeding. An overall example would be; meeting, bringing everything the guest asks for; while exceeding would be, the guest not even needing to ask.
Servers, and experiences like this, are the ones that need to be mentioned and thanked. Yes, it was early in the day, my order was ‘simple,’ and this may not always be the case. But when it is the case it deserves to be acknowledged. Personally, I would rather spread positive experiences rather than negative ones. For it’s always best to make sure the guest leaves with a good taste in their mouth. That way they’ll only be hungry for more.
Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”