Today is your birthday, you’re celebrating it with a new person in your life.
You are taking her to your favorite restaurant because you know the experience will be good, which will give you time to talk without having to be concerned about the quality of the food or service
You arrive at the hostess station and immediately are greeted by a cheerful friendly voice. Reservations have been made and they know the occasion.
You follow the hostess through the large dining room with high ceilings and hanging sparkling chandeliers to a semi-secluded table for two near one of the rooms high windows that are the length of the wall with aqua drapes hanging down the full length, and a view of the ocean. You are seated and menus are placed on the table. “Cindi will be your server”, you know her from previous visits and that is good.
Just as she started walking away a sharply dressed buss person places two glass of lemon garnish water to the side of the plates, welcomes you, smiles and disappears.
Less than a minute Cindi arrives to greet you. She acknowledges that she recognizes you and you introduce your friend. She immediately seizes the situation that she is new and has not been here before. Her conversation is casual, not like when she waits on you and your buddies.
She explained the specials for the night and looks in your eyes for a telltale look that this special interest you. She is explaining the second special, and your friend looks up, Cindi goes more into detail about the special. She knows you will be ordering the rib eye steak medium rare. Need more time to look at the menu? “I know what I want your friend states” and you start to order.
An appetizer is suggested, looking at her “This is a seafood restaurant and the oysters are fresh”. She nods and you order the oysters, then ask if she would like a glass of wine “Yes”, you look to Cindi for a suggestion, one is made and you agree.
Just prior to the oysters, the wine is served and bus person delivers the freshly baked sourdough rolls. The oysters arrive.
You are having a conversation while eating your oysters, you did not see the bus person refill the water glasses, take the empty oyster plates away, and clean the crumbs off the table it was thought he was invisible.
The entrees arrive, Cindi, ask if you would like more wine. “Yes,” and you start eating. Again, you were busy talking and did not notice that your wine glasses were filled. A few minutes after you started dinner she comes by to ensure everything is okay and brings more rolls and butter.
Half way through your meal the manager comes by, looks at your friend “This is your first time how it is so far”? “Wonderful and everyone is so friendly”.
You’re almost through and Cindi comes by again and says “Don’t forget to leave room for dessert, a very special dessert.
You finish your meal and she wants to take her leftover home, again anticipating, Cindi pick up the plate and returns with a filled to go container.
You Both order coffee and when it arrives you can hear singing in the background it is coming your way and the song is a happy birthday. They are not canned or strained voices but, from employees that sincerely are congratulating you on your birthday and in front of you is a miniature chocolate cake for two with a lit candle with a card beside it wishing you a happy birthday. Pictures are taken and sent to you immediately.
You both finished your cake and have a last sip of coffee. The bill is paid and you are leaving. At the door are Cindi and the hostess wishing you another happy birthday.
As you are walking out the door you friend says” This has been a wonderful experience”.
Kenny Arone is a restaurant consultant and partner in Cost Genie Menu Costing Software. www.costgenie.com