This past weekend, my family and I went to Lancaster, PA for a last-minute getaway. I am a vacation researcher! I love to look up what others have gushed over, and on this trip, I let TikTok be my guide. The list of all the places found in fun, curated videos included must go places for brunch and dinner, a planetarium, shopping, and some general family-fun. Nick, the kids and I always vote on what we want to do when we go away, so we hit something for everyone.
This specific trip I was constantly reminded how imperative it is to train your staff that first impressions are important. There is a true need for coaching your receptionist/host/sales assistant on the art of making guests feel welcomed from the very first interaction.
We didn’t have formal reservations anywhere.
First dinner spot, a popular ramen noodle restaurant in the downtown historic district. We entered and noticed the packed dining room. I always take that as a good sign. “Dinner for 4 please.” No reply. When the host picked up the menus and walked away, we gathered the expectation was for us to follow. The server greeting our table didn’t even get a breath between the hello and “do you know what you want because the kitchen is closing in 20 minutes.” It was 7:30PM on a Friday night. Even though the food was delicious, for us, the whole experience was ruined. At 8:00PM, they shut the music off with 4 tables sitting. We were out the door by 8:15, bellies full but still hungry for some hospitality.
The next morning, we went to a local comfort food master called Gracie’s on Main. Oh. My. Bacon! Was this different. The place was hopping, and the hostess asked with a smile if we had reservations. When I replied no, she said “we are glad you are here.” We were treated amazingly at every turn, and the food… pearl clutch, thank you TikTok. From start to finish, we were made to feel like they were grateful we chose to have breakfast with them.