Secret recipe

Nowadays my job is to observe customers and their behaviour, write it up in manuals to help teach people to serve and care for customers (and occasionally blog about it).

I regularly get people saying that it is easy (for me) to talk about it because I don’t work with people day in and day out. This is true enough, since I am not on the shopfloor every day any more. But I still have experiences that reinforce that some things just never change.

Recently Dennis and I had to work the BBQ at the rugby gala day to raise funds. It was a 2-hour session during the busiest session of the day. The food was hardly glamorous and definitely not healthy, the environment was pretty primitive, but we still enjoyed serving the people.

I was serving people and ensuring that their day at the rugby was fun. I satisfied basic needs in a basic way, something that anyone on the day could do. Yet, it was that satisfying to make a few people happy.

When the little ones came back to get another bacon-and-egg sandwich, and you can just see the anticipation on their little faces waiting for me to recognise them in some small way. They just glow when I ask them “are you back for seconds already?” The other parent endearingly addressed the ‘older’ folks as ‘young ones’ and everyone joked that they had not been called that in a long time. Or a small touch like sending the person around to the BBQ to place the order of how they liked their steak.

We had no complaints, even though at times we had queues -cooking under fairly primitive, not-too-hygienic conditions. People need only a little attention, a dash of care, a little love – and they will come back for more.

Instead of being exhausted, we actually felt energised afterwards. Whilst it is not the same as backing up day after day, spending 10 hours on your feet, it does bring home a very important lesson:

Take care of your customers, and the ‘bottom lines’ and the targets, the KPI’s – all take care of itself.


(And you will enjoy it all the more to boot.)


[Published by Moonyeen]