Little Actions Make a Big Difference

Last week I enjoyed dinner at The Smith at Lincoln Center. It wasn’t a special occasion or a holiday. It was simply two friends having dinner before attending a performance at across the street.

And then we met Nick.

I had been observing him as he stopped at each table, engaging the guests. He didn’t ask the perfunctory “How was your dinner?” while halfway to the next table. Instead, he seemed genuinely interested and personally invested in the guest experience.

When he arrived at our table, he asked about our entrées. He commented on how my salmon had new accompaniments, making sure that I had enjoyed them. He teased my friend about a lone small piece of steak remaining on her plate.

He took her plate and returned with a small paper bag that included a few small pieces of bread and the wrapped up steak. He joked that she could eat it as a little sandwich snack during intermission at our concert.

While we were laughing about this, I asked his name and told him that the way he engaged everyone was special and appreciated. His behavior was even contagious with the wait staff, and it was interesting to observe how some of them mimicked his approach.

He said that it was easy to do what he did. He knew he was making a difference in the guest experience, especially given the stress that has been affecting so many people.

Nick happens to be the general manager of this restaurant, and his sincere, unpretentious leadership is exemplary. His actions are intentional and they work brilliantly.

I share this anecdote so you can ponder what you can do to enhance the experience of your employees, clients, customers, or patients. Nick reinforced the concept that it doesn’t have to be a big thing; indeed, little actions make a big difference.

Have a great day!

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