Can I See Your ID?

By Ron Rosenberg

ATL Term E Restaurant

I've been traveling lately, and that means trying to eat healthy while connecting through airports to get to my destination and back home again.

Fortunately, there are usually a couple of options, and I found this restaurant in Terminal E at the Atlanta Airport. As a bonus, I enjoyed not only a good meal, but also a great lesson in customer service.

I had a long layover, and it was dinner time, so I grabbed one of the "patio"tables outside the restaurant and settled in to watch the parade of travelers walking by on the way to their gates.

Right after I placed my order, a young woman was seated at the table in front of me. I watched as my waiter took her order, and saw that when she ordered a glass of wine, he politely asked for her ID to make sure she was over 21.

His next stop was my table where he filled my water glass. I couldn't resist commenting, and said, "Best way to get a good tip - ask to see the ID!"  He smiled, and said, "Yeah - you saw that, huh."

We had a good laugh over this. The woman appeared to be in her mid 20s, probably at the age where getting "carded" starts becoming a compliment instead of an insult.

But the point here is that the waiter - who depends on tips for his livelihood - was keenly aware of the patrons at each of his tables. He figured out quickly to keep my water glass filled; he "read" the couple at another table and knew to keep a low profile, and he asked the young woman for her ID in a way that wasn't offensive or condescending.

In other words, he was a professional; he understood what his customers wanted from their dining experience; and he delivered it.

Do you have that kind of insight into your own customers, clients, and members?


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