How was your service?

Works for Me Wednesdays

The other night my husband and I decided to go out for dinner. We haven't had a little date night out in awhile and since we had an Olive Garden Gift Certificate (thanks to good friend of ours!) burning a hole in our pockets, we decided to use it.

We were celebrating the end of our recent court struggles so, we dropped the princess off at Grandma and Grandpa's and headed to Olive Garden.

Now, when I go to a restaurant, food is secondary to me. Service is what I am really paying for. I am a pretty good cook, so making a good meal is no biggie to me. However, to go out for dinner is all about being waited on, no cleaning up and just relaxing while someone else takes care of the cooking.

Also keep in mind that Troy and I do a lot of Mystery Shops and a great deal of them are restaurants. Since we have been doing this for so long, it becomes second nature to us to evaluate every part of our dining experience. We are used to dealing with such things as, the timings, the presentation, the greetings, the interaction, the quality and watching the interaction between the staff.

When we got to Olive Garden we had about a 15 minute wait. This is not unusual for Olive Garden. Once we were seated, Alica, our waitress introduced herself.

At this point we WISHED we were doing a mystery shop on our dinner that night. Let me tell you, Alicia was the BEST waitress we have had the pleasure of dealing with in a very long time! Seriously, this woman should be teaching waitresses on how to be a fantastic waitress.

It was so nice to have such wonderful service and feel completely comfortable and in no hurry to rush out of the restaurant. Alicia added to our celebration dinner by giving us terrific service and giving us time to enjoy each of our courses. And by encouraging us to just relax and take our time, Troy and I got to have a wonderful couple of hours together.

Once we were ready to leave, we told Alicia how much we appreciated her excellent service and then asked to speak to the manager. We explained to the manager about how satisfied we were with our meal and the exceptional service we got from Alicia. She gave us the Corporate Customer Service number.

The next day I took the time to call that number and tell them about the wonderful waitress they had and the fact that because of her, we not only would be looking forward to coming back, but we will be requesting to be seated in her area. The woman at the Corporate office was so thrilled to hear about our positive experience and made sure that I knew that Alicia would be recognized for her service.

With the economy the way it is, we are all being a little more discretionary with where we spend our money. We expect the best for our money. And when we decide to take a luxury night out and have a nice dinner, we expect good service. We have worked hard for that money and saved for this evening out.

I have worked as a waitress and I have worked as the manager, I know how much hearing a positive comment can mean to me. Waitressing is a hard job. Not only the physical part (on your feet the entire time, carrying trays of food and dishes back and forth) but, the mental part is the hardest. You need to treat each and everyone one of your customers as if they are the only customer you have. You have to smile and not show the fact that you have been working for the last 6 hours and have to go to your second job as soon as you get off at this job. Your tired, your child is sick at home, you are trying to figure out if you can pay the electric bill on time and the whole time you are dealing with people who are having a bad day and take it out on you. but, if you are a good waitress, you are also a great actress. It is a very hard job.

So, the next time you have good service, take the time to not only let the server know but, also the management. A lot of times the serving staff can get some sort of "bonus" from such compliments. And just hearing that you did a great job from someone can make your day.

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