Our favourite Indian restaurant does a superb curry, but establishing a smooth line of communication with waiters for whom English is not their working language often proves to be something of a challenge. It was for this reason, presumably, that on our most recent visit a gentleman had been employed in what can only be described as a maitre d’ role (see how much I’ve learned from Service!).
His opening interaction with our table was somewhat inauspicious, though that was more to do with me thinking he was an eccentric customer rather than an employee of the restaurant. Thankfully, the rest of the meal passed without any further misunderstanding, and he duly ensured we were okay for drinks and weren’t finding anything wrong with the food.
Come the end of the meal, however – and this really is the point of the story, particularly as a follow-up to the earlier blog about the Italian restaurant – the concept of the ‘magic touch’ (the little gestures that a customer shouldn’t notice, but which make a dining experience that much more enjoyable) started to be taken a bit too far.
After establishing that we had all enjoyed ourselves and, rather cheekily, flat-out asking if we intended to come again, our maitre d’ then proceeded to embrace in a hug every single female of our party (for the gentlemen, he reserved a firm handshake), all the while thanking us for our hospitality. Like it was us who had served him a meal! Now, I know my earlier post was all for breaking down the barriers between staff and customers, but this was the complete opposite of subtle.
Let’s put it this way – I don’t think Fred would have been impressed.