After hosting a large group of children and parents for our son’s third birthday party, mom and dad were exhausted. We loaded up the Explorer with Grandma in tow and headed out for dinner. Our first two restaurants of choice had a wait, and we ended up at a Perkins restaurant by default. It epitomized “ordinary.” The building was old, the interior needed an update and the menu was basic. The only thing exceptional was the service.
Our waitperson was a relatively young woman with a cheerful demeanor. We were slumping already from fatigue and lack of food. Our three-year-old son was beginning to vocalize his hunger.
The young woman took our order and promised to have our food right out. In a few minutes she was back. She carried a stuffed Curious George monkey. Coincidentally, my son Hunter loves Curious George. Our waitperson said, “I just won this stuffed animal and really don’t have much use for it. I thought your son might enjoy it.”
Hunter’s face lit up as he accepted the unexpected gift. We thanked her and told her it was his birthday. “Well, happy birthday then!” she said and left to get our orders.
The food was pretty good and the bill was typical but the tip I left was exceptional, and she deserved it (although I really don’t think that was her ulterior motive). A thoughtful gesture from a nice person had lifted our spirits.
And I don’t know of a training program in existence that can teach that kind of behavior. I guess you’ve just got to hire nice, thoughtful people.