I’ve been kicked out of better places than this (actually not)… but never as nicely.
The Friday before Christmas I was having breakfast with a colleague down in the Strip District at one of the awesome breakfast joints. For those of you who aren’t from Pittsburgh, the Strip District is the old market/warehouse district that is the place to go for meats, seafood, produce, baked good and the like. It is also where some of the best and oldest restaurants are, particularly breakfast joints. The kind that all they serve is breakfast all day and they have that Pittsburgh gritty, steel town, old-world charm. The venue for this day was Kelly O’s and I met my friend before the holiday breakfast rush began. We enjoyed a great conversation, lots of coffee, and the most incredible breakfast burrito. Our plates were cleared, we paid our bill and we continuing to talk. While we were chatting, a waitress stopped by our table and asked us if we would like a cup of coffee to go. We were pretty coffee’d out and politely declined. She motioned with her head over towards the door and gave us a hopeful smile. There was a line out the door of people waiting for tables. I looked at my watch and we had been there an hour and a half. We smiled back, thanked her and said no problem, we were on our way.
After I parted company with my friend and headed back home, I thought about how the waitress handled the situation. The more I thought about it, the more impressed I was with how she turned what could have been an awkward or confrontational situation that left us with a negative impression into a light-hearted positive one.
I am sure this wasn’t the first time a waitress at Kelly O’s experienced this and it is part of their training, regardless, it still shows how they feel about their customers, want them to have a great experience and come back. I know I will.
How do you have an uncomfortable conversation with your customers?