What is a Smile Worth?
Recently we spent some time in New York City. We were fortunate, our hotel provided a continental breakfast, as well as complimentary “hot” tea and coffee, all day and night.
In America, this is a big deal.
Not used to tipping, we were challenged at the end of every meal to do our maths and work out our percentages to ensure the wait staff received their ‘gratuities’.
This wasn’t necessarily expected at our hotel. We helped ourselves to cereal, fruit, muffins, pastries, toast, yoghurt and bagels.
The hotel employed a couple of ladies to clean up and replenish what was eaten each morning. I was particularly impressed with the difference in attitude between the hostesses. Two out of the three spoke in their native non-English language and generally scowled and huffed and puffed their way through breakfast (which was open from 6.30am to 11am). The third hostess smiled constantly, had immaculate grooming and was very diligent in her duties. When she was working, breakfast ran smoothly. She acknowledged guests and looked after them exceptionally well.
Guess who got the non-essential tips?
A little embarrassed at first, I went looking for her on our last day. I wanted to thank her. She was standing next to one of the grumpy ones when I found her, smiled, thanked her and handed her some cash. Her face lit up. She seemed surprised and delighted to be acknowledged.
Although awkward, I couldn’t help wonder what the grumpy one was thinking as she witnessed this.
I did hope she got the message that a smile can be worth a lot.
When was the last time you or your staff smiled at a customer?
What would you have done for the hostess?