When your pay depends on customer service, go the extra mile.
Here is a tale of two restaurant servers. One earned a nice tip, the other lost it.
A week ago, my team at work and I went to Macaroni Grill for lunch. The waiter, Luigi (yes, that was his real name, he proudly informed us), was the best waiter I’ve had in a long time. He was very courteous, attentive, and treated each of us with respect.
As we ordered our meal, we told Luigi that we’d all be on separate checks. His sincere response was, “Thank you for telling me, I really appreciate that.”
I thought this was nice but didn’t think much more about it until we had an opposite experience a week later.
To celebrate the upcoming wedding of a co-worker, a large group of us (about 18) went to lunch at the Kona Grill. We made reservations ahead of time so they were very aware that we were coming. Our server took care of our minimum needs but nothing more. When it was time for the check, we asked if she could do separate checks. She indicated that would be too difficult and left the whole check with us to divide up.
Our group spent the next 15 minutes passing the check around, scrounging up cash and writing notes with credit cards of how much to charge on each.
After the check had gone around, we counted up the money to realize that our server was not going to be getting a good tip. Everyone had paid for their lunch and indicated they tipped but the total amount of cash didn’t constitute a nice tip on top of that.
If the server had done separate checks or in some way facilitated our payment, each person would have likely given the appropriate tip that was somehow lost in the anonymity of a group check.
A little extra work from this server would have dramatically improved her earnings for that lunch hour. Instead, she took the easy route and was probably wondering why the stingy tip.
Contrast this with our friend Luigi, who took our needs into account and earned himself a nice tip.
When you are serving your customers, you have a choice: Do the bare minimum or go the extra mile. The extra mile is never easier but it is full of rewards and happy customers.