My apologies for not posting last week as I was indisposed and galavanting across the State of Louisiana. It was my intention to spotlight some po-dunk Northern Louisiana town bar in this blog however the service industry experience on my trip that struck me as most profoundly Southern and distinctly different occurred at an entirely different establishment.
Welcome to the Waffle House on Highway 20 in West Monroe, Louisiana. You’ll know you are welcome the moment you walk in the door because both waitresses, the cashier AND the short order cook will individually greet you with a whopping “Hello there!” or “How y’all doin’?” or “Good Mornin’ folks!”
This was surprising because we were two couples and one toddler. As a veteran service industry employee, I would categorize our party of five as “scary to volatile” but for some reason, the Waffle House wanted us as customers.
These diner employees were so pleasant that I can only deduce that they were either:
a) very skilled a customer service,
b) extremely high, or
c) mistaking us for someone who might sell them something that gets them high.
As our breakfast proceeded, we watched the crew greet everyone who walked through the door with the same enthusiasm so I’m going to assume it was (a).
ANYWAY, Doris who had worked at the Waffle House for five years (it said so on her name tag) sat us at a nice corner booth while Moe, our waitress rushed on over to get our drink order. The coffee was piping hot and not long after it’s arrival, our Number 4’s were on the table. A steaming plate of yellowish white: Hot grits loaded with butter, fried eggs, pancakes and white toast. Mmmmmm!
We paid our paltry check, overtipped and sauntered back to the car. As we drove away, we began discussing the experience and the restaurant. Our table had been a little sticky and the high chair provided for the toddler was not exactly clean. As it turned out, two of us had attempted to use the restroom and decided that is was “too risky” for sanitary urination. (And those two were both males, which makes me never want to know how bad the ladies room might have been.) At the counter had been seated a woman resembling what I can only describe as a crackhead and we all agreed that the ice waters we’d been served tasted funny.
So the moral of this little tale is that great customer service can mask an incredible slew of flaws at your establishment! So be nice, and maybe the customers won’t notice how crappy your bar really is!