I do love living in the Pacific Northwest. Especially Portland. Nothing against Seattle, but people here are quite nice (except, of course, at a few select restaurants).
They have nothing on us…
I recently had the chance to visit Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia. I had a wonderful time, and everyone in those places was warm, friendly, and hospitable. Especially in Charleston (where I spent more time and did more dining).
I guess it is a bit of a tourist destination–I had no idea–and every place we went we were greeted by welcoming, friendly faces. I found myself thinking that it was nice and all, but I was quick to remember so is Portland!
It was also nice to be in a place where people are different than me, think differently than I do, have different ideas of what is important.
Nice to get out of my bubble
I don’t need to leave my home to remember how great I have it. However, it is nice to look forward to returning home. Even after a wonderful trip filled with kind and generous people.
Here in Portland, I observe daily as people help other people. If I happen to see someone walking around with a map, I always stop and ask if I can be of some assistance. And I am not the only one.
Often, I watch as Portlanders assist others with directions, carrying packages, with umbrellas, etc. Gives me hope for this country and my fellow Americans, which we all need to be reminded of, especially after political elections don’t go the way I feel they should.
If only all restaurants could do the same
It is still my dream that this wonderful quality of friendliness spills over and permeates all hospitality businesses. Not just some.
Despite the overt kindness of many people and restaurants, there still remains those few, which I am happy to report seems to have become a minority (it wasn’t always that way), that refuse to get on board. They, for whatever reason, cling to their to-cool-for-school approach to things.
I just don’t understand the point of all that. I hear tales all of the time of this chef being mean to his staff, or this restaurant owner completely taking his customers for granted. So often just taking the money and running to the bank with it, without any consideration given to the retention of that customer. Which is what is all about, right?
The one transaction short-sightedness. Remember all of you restaurateurs out there. It is all about getting them to come back. It starts by being kind. It starts by being friendly. It starts with you.
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Last week we had two great things happen that you can add to your hope multiplier.
1) An older gentleman came in with $100 in an envelope to give to one of my servers. Apparently the fellow had tripped and fallen out on the sidewalk and the server rushed out to help him up. A small thing that shouldn’t be remarkable, but the fellow thought it was.
2) Another senior citizen customer was having dinner in the wine bar… And maybe she did have just a little too much wine because she began to lament her circumstances, her longing for old friends on the East Coast, her shiny love for her grandchildren overshadowed by the distressing behavior of her son and daughter-in-law. She became very distraught, such though that her server asked permission to leave so she could drive the woman home, which she did.
Providing genuine hospitality enriches relationship. Relationships enrich our lives. Just do it.
Thanks, David. Two GREAT examples!
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