Etiquette Awareness — Alone But In Great Company
Posted by Corey Kaster on March 9, 2010
Last week I unexpectedly found myself with some free time after an early morning meeting so I decided to treat myself to breakfast at a small local cafe. I knew the place wasn’t fancy but the food was good and that was what mattered.
As I walked in the door, I was greeted with a “Go ahead and sit anywhere, hon” and a big smile from the woman I could see through the kitchen pass-through; the two servers were busy with customers so she took it upon herself to greet me. She immediately followed up by leaving the kitchen, where she was obviously cooking, and brought me a menu and some water.
The server came over to take my order and in just a few minutes I was comfortably settled with my breakfast and the morning newspaper, relaxed and thoroughly enjoying myself. At the same time, I was aware that it was more than just my immediate personal circumstances that were putting me in such a happy frame of mind … it was the atmosphere surrounding me.
I could hear the interaction of the servers and the other patrons as they settled themselves. It was obvious that many of them were “regulars” as they were known by name, and that “Henry” liked extra whipped cream in his hot chocolate, and that “Sarah” was going to have her usual. Not only did the servers know the preferences of their customers, but the customers recognized — by their comments — how nice it was to be taken care of in just such a manner. “She knows just what I like!”
The friendliness and mutual respect for each other was obvious and spilled over onto customers like myself, a non-regular. I received smiles and friendly comments from both employees and patrons when I arrived and when I left.
It was a lovely way to start my day!
Do you remember the TV show Cheers … the place “where everybody knows your name?” It may be cheesy but it really does make a difference. How do you feel when you are greeted with a friendly smile and a “good morning” or “hello” when you walk into an establishment?
Give it a try — even if you are a customer, not the proprietor. Help build atmosphere!
Please feel free to send me any of your
etiquette or customer service questions or stories!
Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness
may now be viewed at my website,
Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist
Speaker & Seminar Leader
“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,
not changing who you are.”