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It was the holiday season, 1991 and I was the training manager for a high profile, high volume restaurant. It was also the same time that Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was released. To this day it remains one of my all time favorite Disney movies. I also new that after seeing it, my expectations for the levels of service I looked to inspire in the teams I was training, had just soared to new heights.

That’s was when I decided to implement the Lumiere recognition award for team member of the month.

I posted pictures of Lumiere in the break room, gave out praise for the person who could do the best imitation of Lumiere and recognized Lumiere-isms on a communication wall in the hall.

Everyone had a great time and the award soon became something that everybody wanted. Of course it helped that it came with movie tickets, a pretty cool trophy of the employee holding a Lumiere figurine and a Lumiere lapel pin (that made for a great conversation starter).

Here is a list of the actions and attributes it took to win this coveted award:

  1. Servers have to greet guests with deep pride and great pleasure.
  2. Hand menus to guests open and ready to read
  3. If the guest has not already unfolded their napkin unfold and hand it to them.
  4. Be obsessed with guest requests
  5. Food is to be delivered hot and on time
  6. After delivering food, ask if there is anything else that would make their experience any more perfect.
  7. Plan your return to the table. Do not ask how everything is if a guest has a mouthful of food (everyone hates that).
  8. Be sure and keep a watchful eye on all tables in your station.
  9. Never return to the kitchen empty handed
  10. Remember the little things.
  11. Take care of the kids.
  12. Do everyone’s job when needed.
  13. Be keenly aware, notice everything.
  14. At the end of the meal look the guest in the eye and ask if is anything else you can do to make there remaining time with you amazing and memorable.

Smile. If there’s a smile on your face, there’s a smile in your voice.

Are you cultivating teams of Lumieres? In today’s high paced, digitally dizzy new world, the businesses that will stand out the most, are those that steep themselves in the traditions of creating extraordinary guest experiences.

So go ahead…put your service to the test.

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