Kindness to the least of them

As part of our “go to town”, my bride and I eat at a local buffet a couple of times a month. (It’s part of a national chain that seems to give each franchise a good deal of autonomy – I’ve eaten at them in a dozen cities and they vary a great deal.) We generally go mid-afternoon, avoiding both the lunch and dinner rushes. The majority of those eating with us at that time are retired folks.

We have watched with interest and delight at how the waitresses treat their older customers – most of them regulars.  They know them by name, and they touch them on the arm, ask about how they are, and share about their own lives. A fellow will ask one waitress how her college classes are going, a woman asks another waitress about her kids. When one young waitress became pregnant for the first time, everyone was thrilled for her, and I overheard one table talking about what a great mother she would be. Another waitress was showing pictures of her cats recently; telling about the new one, and how it was upsetting one of the other cats. All of this is done in short bits, and we’ve never seen it prevent the wait staff from doing everything that needs to be done.

When these older folks leave, several of the waitresses will say goodbye by name. Some of the customers get hugs, a few a kiss on the cheek. Some customers say, “I’ll see you tomorrow” or ask when a particular waitress is working again. Some plan when to eat there based on the schedule of a favourite waitress.

I don’t think the caring and attention being shown by the waitresses is just about getting a better tip. Some of the customers are no doubt on a fixed income, and some of them frankly don’t tip very well – but they are treated with the same love respect. You can’t fake that kind of interest in someone day after day – if it’s fake, it will show through. These women honestly seem to care. I am aware that at least some of the waitresses are dedicated followers of Jesus, so that may explain some of it. It also seems that management must be in favour of this, and even staffs enough waitresses to make it possible. It’s no doubt good for business (I recently saw them fairly busy on a February in Tuesday, traditionally a very bad time for restaurants) but I find it hard to believe that it was started for that reason.

Regardless of why this has developed, I am sure that some of the customers get more love, attention, and touch at a meal at this buffet than they get the rest of the week. I am deeply moved by what the wait staff is doing for folks who tend to be sidelined and ignored. It seems very much to me to be WJWD (what Jesus would do).

Is there a tip in all of this?  Maybe not.  My hope is that this will inspire all of us to be better, to do better, and to find ways small and large to show love and respect for those who have become accustomed to very little of either.

Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:

Budget Software Reviews: Choose Your Tool for Successful Money Management: Dustin does a review of various tools for managing your money.

The Nice Guy Rebellion: Corey further unpacks the nice guy, who he is, and why it’s not a good thing.
Nice People Sex … Boring: Being too nice hurts your sex life. Corey said the nice guy “..constantly complains he’s not getting enough, or it’s unsatisfying…” – very interesting!
Want to Improve Your Marriage? Build a Budget!: Another great post on a topic I have failed to cover here.

What Every Facebooking Couple Should DO to Protect Their Marriage!: A great article on a very important topic.

The Silent Treatment Can be Good for My Marriage!: This post by The Beautiful WifeTM (of Stu) was aimed at women, but some men (myself at the top of the list) need to do this as well.  And the rest of you can point your bride to the article!

One Comment on “Kindness to the least of them

  1. The inescapable truth: All businesses are people businesses. There is no getting around it. If you want to have a very well established customer base, you have to give up “marketing” and start caring. No matter how much money you “think” you are losing.

    The owners of that restaurant are very wise.

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