About the Episode:
It is no secret that the service industry is often mistreated, so how often is it bad service or a bad customer? What is the best way to address this inside of the industry? Listen in to hear Rick’s first hand experiences and hear the stories he’s heard from his close relationships he has built over the years.
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Today I’m going to talk about a little experience that I had the other night and give you something that’s an observation around servers and restaurants and really anybody in the hospitality industry, and I see this anywhere that I go with hotels, restaurants, even Uber drivers for that matter, right, and I know some people don’t like to have conversations or whatever. But when somebody is talking to you, it’s a good thing to pay attention to them and even more, so just give them eye contact. This is something that I noticed that a restaurant it’s a restaurant that I go to all the time, and typically, when this happens, I like to form relationships with servers and restaurants that I add a lot of, whether it’s in my hometown of Chicago, or when I travel to destinations quite often like Sarasota, Orlando, Las Vegas, or New York City, I like having those relationships with people at the restaurants with management because it helps them feel good and I appreciate good service too.
I absolutely appreciate good service, but I was at a restaurant, Texas De Brazil. You know, phenomenal if you’ve been to Fogo de Chão, it’s a Brazilian steakhouse, you know, just amazing. They bring the meats to you at the table, they cut them off right there, they carve them, you know, I love myself some beef ribs there, some flank steak, of course, some filet, just an amazing restaurant, but even more, so I love the atmosphere there. The service is just so good. Just amazing. I mean, the gauchos are the ones that are running around, and you know, trying to make sure that you have all the meat that you want, and I mean, it’s been like a meat parade at times that I’ve been there. It’s just absolutely incredible. When you’ve got Gaucho after Gaucho after gaucho, one with filet, one with flank steak, one with big beef ribs, one with chicken wrapped and bacon, one with bacon wrapped jalapenos, you know, just just right away, they’re always there for you, and it’s always “Hey, I’m gonna get you a quick clean plate,” and the servers work as a team there.
It’s incredible because even though one person is assigned to your table as your primary server, they’re just all working in concert to give the customers the best possible experience. Now it’s a little bit of a different scenario. So in this restaurant, they explained to you if you’ve never been to one before how it works, because it’s different, right, you don’t get a meal that’s delivered to you, and then that’s your meal, right, you actually have this little flipper thing that is red and green and when it’s green, it says “Hey, stop my table with the meats.” When it’s red, it says “Just passed me by because I’m eating right now. I’m taking a break, whatever it is, I’m enjoying my time with, with family, friends, just talking. So just let us be for the time being.” Now, whenever a server, I was watching this table of about eight people, all dudes, right, and I don’t know if this matters or not, I haven’t recognized that before. But out of this table of eight dudes while the server was saying, you know, like the wine that they had on special and one of their Brazilian drinks specialties and explaining how this whole process works at this very unique type of restaurant, there was just one dude out of eight that was actually giving eye contact to the server. I even put it up on my story on Instagram, because I see this all the time. You know, even people that I’m with, you know, if you’re looking at the menu or whatever, now if the server’s pointing something out, and literally, I’ve had servers say, “Hey, flip to page five,” and then they’ll point it out for you.
So it’s almost like it’s a presentation companion for them, right as they’re talking about something. But when they’re giving your special offers and asking you what you want, frickin look him in the eye, okay, they are there to serve you, and that’s disrespectful to them. You know, and it’s probably the same people because I find out a lot too, that there’s not a lot of good tippers that are out there, and this is one of the reasons I’m not joking you that when I’ve been to another one called chama gaucha, which they’re more or less prominent, but I’ve had servers just see me walk in the door and literally, like jump over people to try to come and say hello, and make sure that I sit at their table, because they go above and beyond for me because I tip well. I appreciate their service. You know, it’s, you know, even individuals or I’ve been with people to where it’s like I’m not going to order as much or I’m not going to order dessert. I’m not going to order coffee. I’m not going to order that after dinner drink. I’m not going to order an appetizer, because I just want to keep the bill down.
Right, and that’s so crazy because you’re there enjoying a good time because of your server. I never think about ways to save money or anything like that. I’m actually always trying to think of ways to drive up the bill to make it higher and even this night, you know what I had two glasses of wine. When I was sitting there. I had just two glasses this night, you know and I actually felt kind of bad Because I didn’t order a bottle. Nobody else at the table was drinking alcohol while I was covering the bill. So I’m like, You know what? Afterwards I’m like, I don’t really want you know, should I want a Scotch afterwards because I love scotch. I don’t really feel like it tonight, which is okay, by the way. Don’t ever feel pressured for something like this one, like, you know what dessert? I could? No, I really don’t feel like that tonight. During the week, I tried to save some of those indulgences for the weekend, just so I can do everything in moderation and stay fit and healthy and still enjoy my fair share of desserts. I just don’t do it every day. Okay, but then I’m like, You know what, something like coffee would be great. And espresso would be amazing.
So I’m actually trying to actively think of ways not because I feel pressured by the server. Because they’ll offer things right. That’s their job, and they do that because, yes, it increases their tip, and they’ll offer those things. But this is what sales is. Hands down. Sales is being able to provide something to somebody else that they either want, or need. And sometimes that doesn’t happen. Unless you ask the question. Hey, would you like this? Right now? They didn’t even ask me right? They’re like, what would you like after dinner and they know me right, do you want to MacAllan? 15 A MacAllan? 18? Like no, I don’t feel like that tonight. Well, how about some dessert? Mr. Jordan? No, not tonight. You know, I don’t feel like that tonight. I’m like, “You know what, I’ll have an espresso.” Because of that, because the service was so great, and it’s also something that sounded good, it was a way that he could continue to do, his name’s Paulo, by the way, the server that Paolo could continue to provide me with amazing service, which is actually something he loves to do, and also give me something that I want, while simultaneously adding something up to the bill so that his tip could be even greater. I love to bless people that way, especially when they’re doing an amazing job.
So then he brought me my espresso, and I asked him a question like Paulo. I look around and I see this all the time I see this in restaurants, I see this in hotels with people at the check in line, that they actually won’t even look at the hotel employee at the front desk, or even the concierge in the eye to have a conversation with you. Almost like they’re above them in some kind of way. But, and during this, I’m actually talking directly to him, you know, and it’s interesting, because Paulo moved from chama gaucha, that one restaurant I told you about, over to Texas De Brazil. And it’s awesome, because he’s able to still serve me there, and we have good conversations just like this one. Like I was looking at this table, Paulo, and out of these eight dudes, it was just one individual, one awesome, respectful guy who was looking his server in the eye, and asked him like, “you see that a lot, where this happens,” and I’m like, “I hate seeing this, because I think it’s disrespectful,” and it almost puts yourself, you know, minimizing the other person or like creating the separation of class or something like that between customer and server, when you’re there to enjoy a good time and that person is there, to have a good time, making sure that you have a good time.
It’s an amazing reciprocal effect of energy and intention, and a sign of respect when you can just look your server in the eye, and enjoy that time, right there. He’s like, You know what, and he actually corrected me at this moment, because I see this a lot. I was like, holy cow, man, I never thought of it this way. He goes, “You know, I really think it has to do with the server.” He goes, “Because I talk to people. I have conversations with them. I don’t just walk them and be like, ‘So what do you want to drink?’ You know, even if we’re able to say ‘Hello, what do you want to drink tonight.’” Then that’s the end of it, and they’ll just go away and then come back bring your drinks is really no engagement from the server, they don’t really actually create that atmosphere that I’m talking about to where they can have not only a good time with the people there with at the table, but a good environment and a good atmosphere and a good time. In that location. In that restaurant. He goes on and on. He’s like, you know, I see this a lot you know, and this is what I try to train people on the most because he’s been in the foodservice industry for a long time is actually creating this atmosphere of comfortability and, and rest and enjoyment for his customers that he serves, and he takes pride in doing this too. He’s like the wall is not usually put up by the people sitting at the table.
The wall is usually put up by the servers, and how they bring their energy to that table to begin with, and he goes, “You know what, and the tips are reflected in that too.” Now as I started to reflect on what he was saying, and looking back in my own experience, it’s like yeah, you I will never tip below 20%. Do you hear that? I actually love now that there are those the payment tablets that the bring to you to your table, that they will have the tip starting at 18% or something like that, or even 20% is the low number, you can always put in a custom one if you want to be cheap, right, but they start them at 20%. Then they go to 22 and 25. I love that, right? Because 25 makes it easy for me to just tap a button rather than do the quick math in my head. You know, I never ever tip below 20% 20% is like cool. You did your job, thank you, and then if you create an amazing atmosphere for me, you get 25%. Yeah, because their servers depend on these tips guys absolutely depend on them.
Even the gauchos that come around, it’s not even in that but I’ve had gauchos at these restaurants take such good care of me that they look forward to coming back, and actually some of them, even at this restaurant, listen to this show right here, because they see how I am off camera, off microphone, that I actually walk what I do. So what I’m telling you right now is exactly what I do. When I’m out there in the world and doing life. This isn’t just stuff that I ever spew into a microphone and expect people to listen just because it sounds good. No, it’s stuff that I actually practice and do myself because I believe in it, and I believe that people that are there to serve you by choice, by the way, they have that job by choice to be there, they’re obviously not slaves, they are there by choice to provide a good service to you that you need to respect them, and you will get better service because of that too. Because you engage back with them.
So dickhole and sit there when you get somebody who’s engaging with you, and being so pleasant to you and just saying “Just leave me alone,” if you want to be left alone, don’t even go out. If you’re gonna go out, enjoy the time, and understand that just because you had a rough day at work that person is now at work for you, and you can have an enjoyable time because that person is working for you. You can be grateful for it, and you can one look them in the eye, when they’re talking to you, have a good conversation when they bring that pleasant energy because it’s really on them as I learned from Paulo to create that environment for you. But when they do that, man, when they do that, you can tip them well.
You can order extra things, even if you’re not going to eat it. Because if you order dessert, I’ve done this many times, you can just box it up right away and take it home and eat it. Two days later. If you save those kinds of things for the weekends like I do, most of the time. I say most of the time because my daughter is a good baker, she just has stuff going all the time and I still indulge during the week. That’s a little aside. But anyways, you can actually participate in that experience and show your gratitude by showing eye contact and tipping. Well, if you’re not going to tip well, if you’re not going to show up and allow that person to do what they’re there to do. Just stay home. Otherwise, you can have an amazing time, and you can play an amazing part in this society, in this economy in relationships and forge these things to where people start to look forward to you walking into their establishments. Because not only are they there to lift you up, which now they love to do, because they know that you appreciate what they’re doing for you
- The Value of Tipping
- Providing A Want And Need to The Person You’re Selling To
- Why Eye Contact is Respectful
- The Customer Service Industry