Friday, 13 July 2007

A tale of two breakfasts

I’ve spent most of this week working on a brand new workshop I’ve been asked to present later this month to a group of business owners. It always seems to take me longer than I think to put them together, probably because I keep adding things!

On Wednesday I made a delightful early morning country drive to Alton, where I was due to speak to a breakfast group about Networking. As I hadn’t made that particular journey before, I set off in good time and arrived far too early, just after 7 am – with the meeting due to start at 7.30. Unsurprisingly, no-one else from the group was there yet.

The hotel staff were so friendly and helpful – especially considering the early hour. They made sure I had everything I needed while I waited for the rest of the group to turn up. I spoke to the duty manager, and two of the housekeepers and they were all so cheerful!

After the talk (and a very tasty breakfast - cooked to order!) I went back to reception, someone else was on duty by then but she was just as friendly. I said that I had enjoyed my visit to their hotel because the staff were so nice. She looked a bit surprised, but very pleased. Sometimes we don't praise when things go well.

Contrast that experience to the week before. I was invited to a breakfast meeting being held at a local golf club. When the breakfast was served, it was already 'plated' - with fried egg, bacon, sausage, hash brown, baked beans, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and two pieces of fried bread! Now, while I'll agree that this is good value for money, I don't like baked beans and, to be honest, there's no way I could manage more than half of what was on the plate.

When I asked if it was possible to just have some scrambled eggs and mushrooms I was told that 'all the eggs had been cooked'! As a compromise they gave me another plate - just without the baked beans.

What a contrast in service and willingness to please. I know few people like being on 'breakfast duty' but it makes such a difference to have a cheerful start to the day.

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