Ian Blyth – It's Just a Thought

My thoughts and opinions

Service and a glass of water!

Posted by Ian Blyth on 4 April 2007

Having recently returned from a trip to the States I am in awe of how their service culture works and generally how poor the UK’s is. We all make fun of the “Have a nice day” but when Americans say it they mean it and it sounds genuine, That is because they have been brought up with that culture. Getting UK people in shops to say it may be possible but how they say it shows that they don’t really mean it and it sounds false.

If I were to open a restaurant I would want my waiting staff to visit the US and eat there to see how it is done. They introduce themselves, smile, give you a chance to ask for something but then leave you alone with the menu. They remember what everyone ordered and do not have to ask. And my favourite. They come with glasses of ice and a jug of water and pour it for you straight away. They do not wait for you to ask for water and they do not try and sell you a bottle of water as they do in the UK. Now if I was in some other country with dodgy water supply I would be grateful of bottled water. But as the UK has perfectly good drinking water I am annoyed that most restaurants do not give you that choice. You have to specifically ask. Are the waiters and waitresses on a commission to sell bottled water?

I suppose it helps that they are on poor wages and make their money on tips. So service is important. But it seems to me that most people have got into the habit of tipping in the UK. Even when it is not justified.

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