Last night I had an excellent night at work. It was surprisingly busy...apparently there was something going on in town that I didn't know about. I was happy to enjoy the business though.
I had a table of four older gentlemen all out for dinner and a beer. They were great. I walked up to their table and asked if they were ready to order, and the man to my right jokingly said some of them weren't quite ready, because of their poor eyesight, they couldn't quite read the menu, did we have any menu readers available. I joked back and said no, that's what their friends are for, and he immediately responded that those guys weren't his friends, they just bought him beers.
Now, when I get a table that will joke like that within the first few minutes, I am thrilled. I love tables that open themselves up for me to create a mini relationship with them. If I can create an experience instead of just provide them a service...I see a drastic difference in my tips, and I have far more fun than if all I do is ask what they want and thank them when they leave.
So, with this gentlemen, I stepped right into the opprotunity he left for me with that comment, and said something about him being a mooch, and walked away as they laughed. When I came back up again to take their order, he told me I'd given him a new nickname, and all his buddies were calling him Mooch now. I bantered with them and made sure to give them good service, and when they were done eating I printed out their seperate checks, and instead of just writing "Thank you! : )", like I normally do, I put "Thanks, Mooch!" with a wink face.
Mooch asked me to keep his receipt with that on it, and each guy gave me four or more dollars when all their bills were under ten dollars. As they were leaving, Mooch thanked me for the good time. That's what I love. He didn't tell me the food was great, he didn't comment on my simple service alone, he thanked me for making their time at the restaurant entertaining. I'm so thankful I work in a place where the food is good and our runners and bartenders are prompt, because it allows me to really have the time to create those relationships and experiences.