When my family and I go to a restaurant (which is less often with gas prices at $3.50 a gallon) whether it is on the weekend around home or when we are on vacation, we can’t help but observe the service we are receiving like:

  • Do they have what the menu says they have
  • Is the restaurant and restrooms clean
  • Does the waiter know what is on the menu/specials
  • Are they willing to make changes to dishes to accommodate our requests
  • Are they attentive/timely and get our orders right (have you ever had a waiter that does not write down a big order and then gets half of it wrong?)

Often we are very pleased when these criteria are met (and complement the owner/manager) or very disappointed when they are not (to the point that we may never go back again).  When I think about this restaurant example, or others like staying at a hotel or shopping in a grocery or clothing store, I remember when it was rare to get bad service at a restaurant, or have a store employee not help you (a paying customer) with a request to find an item or go a little bit out of their way to help you.

My point is this – I find myself being thrilled with service that when I really stop and think about it, should be standard, basic service.  But, perhaps I am remembering the “good old days” WAY too much.  Either way, this ‘service’ thing could be the differentiator between staying in business or not.  Am I expecting too much?

In future posts, I will comment on other aspects of good and bad service(s).