Monday, February 28, 2011

for the love of the game

~ the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Now don't go thinking that I have only negative things to say.  I love what I do, serving people is a great passion in my life and as such I am drawn to the restaurant business like the proverbial moth to flame.  I believe that the soul of the business is not in the tips or the late night drunks, or any irritation that besets a server on a daily basis while dealing with imperfect humans, but in finding the beauty in people and the very same imperfections that make them so damn difficult.

It truly is an art to take a troubled guest and change their evening for the better or to take the average guest and truly make their experience extraordinary!  Also, there are few individuals who get to experience incredibly special moments with near strangers.  I've witnessed dozens of engagements (even helped deliver the ring on occasion) celebrated 90th birthdays and intimate anniversaries.  These are the moments when you realize briefly that humans, despite all our flaws, are often inherently genuine.  Being able to experience those moments and truly connect with people is why I do what I do.

I strive always for the perfect service.  Whether that is matching the perfect Bordeaux to your rack of lamb or just making sure that you have that extra side of mayo for your fries.  Making people feel welcome, appreciated and well served is always at the forefront of every service for me.  I applaud other servers who can 'handle' the irritable old lady whose soup isn't hot enough, with a smile.

When servers focus too much on the tips, we lose sight of the service and we end up causing a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I encourage everyone who is in the service business to truly focus on the guest experience and the money will follow naturally.  Not always of course but if you can embrace a genuine thank you from someone whose life has been enriched by the simple act of giving great service you wont worry so much about it.  I don't.

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