Some days I just have to get out of the restaurant to do some work. That might sound strange for a restauranteur but I always get distracted at work, staff need to ask questions, tills need to be fixed and customers need to chat. This last point brings me to my story.On Tuesday I decide that the distraction is too much for me, being that it’s the busiest time of year for function bookings and I am the only person who deals with this, means I have to get away from the restaurant to answer all the email enquiries. I decide to take my laptop, phone (for Internet access) and me to a cafe where I know I won’t be disturbed by any regular customers. I arrive, at said cafe, to find only 3 tables occupied and a display of cakes to make the mouth water. One of the tables has a lady tapping away at a calculator and jotting down notes on a pad. Bliss. No disturbance here and I can stuff myself to my hearts content. I look around to find a wait person to serve me. The only person on the floor is clearing the remnants of a table of 4, who had obviously had a an abundance of coffee and cake by the state the table was left in. A young lady in the kitchen, behind the counter area, spots me, gives me a smile and pops out of the kitchen to take my order. ‘how lovely’ I think to myself, that’s service. (by the way, if my business partner had seen her he would have run out the door quicker than you could shout boo. She had more hoops pierced in her face than an A3 ringbinder and an apron dirtier than a kids face after eating icecream with chocolate sauce)
She happily takes my order. ‘a double flat white in a tulip cup (that’s half and half to all you Coffee with The Falls fans)…. And a chocolate mud cake please’. ‘no problem’ she replies. scribbles a note down on the coffee pad and proceeds to put my order in the till. The waitperson, who was clearing the table, slopes behind the counter, with a posture that can only be matched by the huntchback of Notre Dame, looks at the note on the pad and, with a look of utter bemusement, mutters to her colleague ‘what’s that?’. Ringbinder, looks at me out of the corner of her eye with an apologetic smile, and says ‘a double flat white in a tulip cup’. Huntchback groans ‘isn’t that the way we serve it anyway’ ringbinder tries to ignore the last comment and proceed to take my money. I really feel for Ringbinder in this situation because, obviously, huntchback is not meant to be in this profession and the owner of said cafe just doesn’t know how to a) get rid of this rotten apple, or b) improve this persons ability to read situations and deal with them in the correct manner. A later situation only confirms this for me. Huntchback is on it’s break, sitting at a table reading a paper with (in my opinion) an unearned coffee. The counter becomes really busy with an influx of hungry customers. Huntchback looks up at its colleagues struggling with the sudden rush of patronism and proceeds to finish reading the sports section. This infuriates me. Every industry has an element of service, whether it be IT or cleaning the streets, if you can’t do your job with a smile or even a pretend smile then you are in the wrong job. Get out and find something else because all you are doing is 1) Making yourself unhappy by trudging through your daily tasks to earn a dollar. 2) Making everyone else around you (colleagues and workmates) unhappy too, because they have to cover for you and 3) ruining the business and the industry that I love and strive to improve in my everyday life. To Ringbinder. Thank you for understanding the point of the industry you are in (customer’s happiness) and keep doing what you are doing. (maybe get rid of the piercings and clean the uniform) To Huntchback, either, get another job or correct your posture, learn how to speak properly and start to understand that the ‘customer comes first’.