The Customer is Always, Well, The Customer

The customer is always Right.

Well, maybe not always, but how about at least treating them as such.

I would first like to apologize to the Fohboh Community for disappearing for the last three or four weeks. My mother had been diagnosed with liver and pancreatic cancer a few months ago and rather quickly regressed from a fairly healthy senior, to a hostice patient, to her eventual death the week before last.

She was not only my mother but my best friend.

I tell you this, secondly, to remind you that our customers come to us not only as consumers, but as individuals. They come as people with problems, anxieties, hungers and needs.

We as managers and wait staff really don't know what they bring to the table on any given day.

The customer may not always be in the best of moods or they may seem to be quite annoying to us, for one reason or the other.

I can't say I believe the customer is always right, but I encourage you to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Listen to what the customer tells you. Also be attentive to the things that they may nonverbally say.

I believe the best dish we serve is not the food that satisfies their physical hunger, but the food that nourishes their uniqueness as a person.

We not only have the obligation, but the privelege to serve our guests. We have the power to make someone's life just a little bit better.

I don't know about you, but in my restaurant career, this is the motivation that makes everyday worthwhile.


Views: 4

Tags: baumgartner, bill, improvement, management, self, success, value


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Comment by Bill Baumgartner on September 2, 2009 at 2:13pm
Thank you Debra,

I really appreciate you,

Comment by Bill Baumgartner on September 2, 2009 at 4:57am
@ Andy
@ Mel
@ Susan
@ Ty
@ Keith
@ John
@ Paul
@ Rod

and the FohBoh Community,
Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words.

I appreciate you all,


Comment by Rod Guinn on September 1, 2009 at 4:50pm
Hi, Bill --
Wonderful post, and my sympathies for your loss. Those of us in the "sandwich" generation are all going through the gradual deterioration and loss of parents, and it's tough. Sounds like you and your mom had a powerful bond.

Comment by Paul Paz on August 31, 2009 at 9:25pm
Hi Bill...
Very sorry about your loss.
There have been times when I have picked up on the fact guests are in mourning or have gathered because of a death. While maintaining a professional demeanor, I do try to lighten things up with engaged conversation. At the end of the meal I usually bring our simple birthday comp (ice-cream scoop with chocolate and a candle.) I present it with the announcement, " This is in celebration of life... their loved one and their own."
It has usually been received with gracious and uplifting thanks.
You're right, Bill. It's not always about the money. So often the reward as a hospitality service provider is allowing people to escape their own crazy world and shelter them, if only temporarily, with caring hospitality.
Again, very sorry at losing your best friend.
Comment by John Dumbrille on August 31, 2009 at 7:26pm
Sincere condolences and best wishes Bill.
Great point - the difference between responsive, vivid service and hohum "customer service" is massive.
Here's to great service to human beings coming in through the door.

Comment by Keith Bernhardt on August 31, 2009 at 1:09pm
Awesome post ! I like the quote , as well : "food that nourishes their uniqueness as a person." Right on the money ! Excellent analogy.

I'm so sorry to hear about your mother.
Please to you and your family, accept my condolences.

Comment by Ty Sullivan on August 31, 2009 at 7:07am
Bill, I feel your loss my friend as is I went through the same 3 years ago with my Father in February and then my Mother in September. My families thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.
As far as the article...Spot on my friend.
Comment by susan holaday on August 31, 2009 at 4:21am
My condolences on your tremendous loss. The post is superb - you are so right and put it so well - "food that nourishes their uniqueness as a person" gets it right and speaks volumes to what this industry is and should be about in my estimation. Interestingly, you kind of foreshadow my next blog! Thanks and warm wishes.




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