During the winter break, I met my family for dinner at a favorite Chinese restaurant. It was a cold, rainy evening and the idea of hot and sour soup and anything with noodles sounded pretty good.
We were seated immediately and our server stopped by to fill the water glasses and take our drink order. Upon his return, we ordered dinner and started chatting.
The food was brought out relatively quickly and that was the last time anyone from the restaurant came by our table.
We enjoyed our dinner so when the manager stopped by to ask how we enjoyed our meal, we let him know the food was great but the service was less than stellar. He acknowledged that and said “the restaurant is working on our table maintenance.”
I had never heard that expression before, but I love what it represents. He did not attempt to make an excuse, did not try to pass it off as “we’re busy tonight” or “we’re understaffed tonight,” the usual comments you hear when service doesn’t meet your expectations. He explained that since he took over as manager that was an area he was working on with his team. That no matter how good the food, if service isn’t, it ruins the whole experience.
We’ll be back. We want to see if table maintenance has improved. And I for one am going to see how we can improve our “table maintenance” in the future and we deliver above and beyond expectations to our clients.