Monday, July 16, 2007

Marketing Musings: What is Service in Your Corner of the Globe?

It’s funny, I am never one to shy away from complaining about “over the top” service in America. The “…are we doin’ OK here?” and “…how’s everything?” and “can I get you anything else’s?” always seem to come at the key moment for your romantic dinner or business meeting. Why, I ask myself, do they go through this meaningless routine? We have to tip anyway, please just wait on us professionally and use some judgment before barging in on our conversation.

Last week I had a brief trip to Prague and my mind was opened regarding the things I complain about in America. Whilst the city was magnificent and the people friendly, wait staff were just appalling. They really could care less whether you waited 5 minutes or 5 hours to get your dinner. It was almost as if they resented you being present, possibly a cultural hangover from the almost forgotten socialist era. Ironically, I was praying for a “…are we doin’ OK here?”

But all was not lost – on the way home I spent a few days in Norfolk on the English seaside. Here pubs have been converted into beautiful restaurants and classy bars. One particular place inspired this post as although we had a fantastic meal and experience. I don’t remember the wait staff at all. At the end of the meal they even removed our plates without me noticing! Now that is service; a great meal and experience (we had everything we needed) and a professional staff that was sensitive to our communication and personal space. England wins this round :-) and do stop in at The Hoste Arms if you get a chance.

No comments: