- serving customers is difficult;
- as a customer, expressing gratitude is always a good thing to do;
- a great lesson for my 12-yo and a good one for grown-ups too.
I brought my family to a Marriott resort this year. In fact, we have been going to the same Marriott resort almost every year for quite a few years and kids loved the place. The resort has its own lagoon and a small water fun park, so we usually only stayed in the resort during our holiday.
I travel often and have been to quite a few different countries in the past. If you ask me who is the most important person in a hotel, then I will tell you that it’s the ‘omelet person’. Why?
Many customers eat breakfast in a hotel and omelet is a popular breakfast item to order. This means the ‘omelet person’ literally meets and greets perhaps 70% of customers of a hotel every day. From a customer service perspective, you can imagine how essential the ‘omelet person’ is for customer satisfaction. You will definitely feel great if the ‘omelet person’ greets you with a big smile in the morning and also cooks you a delicious omelet for breakfast.
One morning during our stay at the resort, I wanted to order an omelet for my kids so I went to the omelet counter and asked the omelet lady for an omelet. It was a busy summer weekend. Although the queue for omelet was about 3-4 persons, the omelet lady had four stoves on cooking omelets, while taking new orders at the same time. I noticed during my breakfast that the omelet queue was consistently about 2-4 persons for about one hour and a half. I did the maths and then I realised that the omelet lady probably cooked about 250-300 omelets during a four hour morning shift on that morning; perhaps more!
The reason why I noticed the omelet lady was that she was not happy on that morning. I didn’t have a chance to talk to her during her shift (because the counter was always busy), but thought that I should teach my kids something about serving customers and be grateful about services. I pointed out the omelet lady to my 12-yo daughter and asked her to observe the dynamics of the service at the omelet counter and how customers interacted with the omelet lady. My daughter didn’t notice the mood of the omelet lady; perhaps too busy paying attention to how an omelet was cooked.
I told my daughter how important the omelet lady is to a hotel business and how she could play the role of making people’s day during breakfast. My daughter got the point and she thought that she should say ‘thank you’ again to the omelet lady.
Right before we left the restaurant when it got quieter, I brought my daughter to the counter and expressed our gratitude to the omelet lady: “Thank you for cooking omelets for us. They were delicious“, my daughter told the lady. I saw her smile and her happiness on her face. I hope that we made her day, too. Every job is important as long as you think it’s important. For the omelet lady, the job is not a glorious celebrity chef job but she plays such an important role in serving hotel customers.
By the way, the happiest omelet lady I’ve ever come across in my travel was the one at the Concord Hotel in Singapore. She even remembered what omelet Dr. Wu ate every morning during his stay at the Concorde; he always ate two well-done fried eggs in the morning with a bit ketchup on the side. After staying at the same hotel a few times a year for a few years in a row, the omelet lady became a personal friend of mine. At the end, I knew all the staff of that restaurant. One good thing I can say about the staff @ Concorde was that they were happy people.
Happy people make you happy, too.
Dr. C. Richard Wu @ REEAConsulting.com
(Note: Photo credit for the featured image is from here.)