These were my son’s menu choices yesterday at a local Mexican restaurant. Pretty run-of-the-mill stuff. The food is just mediocre, but we frequent it because the waiter does what seems to be nearly impossible these days in the world of self-absorbed, iPod-staring, adolescent servers: HE MAKES US FEEL WELCOME.
- He greets us, shakes our hands, and asks how we are doing.
- He brings us our drinks before we request them.
- He does the “check-back” at least three times.
- He keeps our drinks full.
- He SMILES. He’s super-good at this one, without being fake.
- He brings us to-go drinks without us having to ask.
- He shakes our hands when we leave (or if he’s putting in an order, he waves good-bye).
And so even though the food is pretty meh, the service is great. He never looks slammed, he’s never in the weeds, never appears overwhelmed. He’s got this. And because he’s got this, we tip him well every time.
But until yesterday, I had never realized how inappropriate the illustration on the kids’ menu is. A Mexican man salsa dancing with a frozen margarita? With salt on the rim? I’m not making this up.