As many of you know I had the pleasure of spending the weekend with Grandma Santa in the Okanagan, Penticton to be exact. I was able to spend some time with my sisters and their husbands as well as a niece and nephew, it has not happened in a long time, that we were all in the same room together that is. We wanted to take Grandma out for a nice meal and so Grandpa set up a reservation and Plans were set to attend a local restaurant for dinner. To the “Hooded Merganser” we went.
I surely don’t want this to sound like a restaurant critics post about a restaurant, but please stay with me I will get to the moral of the story soon I promise.
When greeted at the door of the restaurant, there was a smile from the hostess, promptly our seats were opened for us and the night began. First off the views are stunning as you look over the lake. Then the one thing that I thought was dead in most of the world actually happened, as I looked around the restaurant I noticed one server hugging people and being overly friendly with her customers, surely she must have known them for a long time and was taking a moment out of her busy night just to let them know that she was glad to see them, turns out that would not be the case , luckily she would be our server for the evening.
Her name was Megan, she showed up at our table and instantly it was like she was part of the family. When she found out that it was Grandma Santa’s Birthday , immediately she gave a huge smile and went and gave her a hug , made her feel special. Megan took care of us all evening long and paid special attention to Grandma on her 70th Birthday. Constantly throughout the night she made a point of making sure grandma was taken care of .Megan brought a glass of Champagne for Grandma and said “ this will kick start that glass of wine that you just had” ( I had to laugh because I knew Grandma would be getting the giggles soon). Megan, At the end of the night stated to us that even though we are not staying for dessert she had something for Grandma, quickly coming back to the table with a bowl full of Strawberries and whipped cream with a candle in it. Megan stated to us that a birthday is just not a birthday without singing, she led us in singing “Happy Birthday” to grandma and then gave her a huge hug and wished her well as we left. The Manager Les was very accommodating to our group and always when someone got up from the table offered a smile. I posted comments throughout dinner showing pictures of the food and the view, I even reached out to some celebrities to make them aware of this place, it was an experience for sure not just a meal.
As I thanked Megan for going out of her way to make Grandma feel special, she took the time to reveal a short story about a customer that she had had for many years.
Not too long ago Megan states that she had some regular customers that had been coming to see her for years, a couple; they used to frequent her restaurant and would always ask for her as their server! Suddenly they stopped attending, after finding out that the gentleman was terminal with Cancer she actually got a request from the man to visit her in the hospital. Megan tells me that she was able to see the man and pay her respects. The gentleman and Megan spoke for a while before Megan revealed she had a video of an event that she was in, the gentleman requested to see it, without hesitation she hopped up on the mans bed, gave a snuggle and watched the video with him, this was one of the last smiles that this man would have before succumbing to his fight with Cancer. I do not blame this man and wife for asking for Megan’s section if this is the compassion and understanding that she showed them while serving their meals. This gave the gentleman closer and some sense of closer for Megan as she told me her mother had passed away and she was never able to do the same with her.
Why am I telling you this story? Customer service is a lost art in this world. Now a day you go into most restaurants and you barely get a smile, the service is horrible, no one seems to care and then at the end of the night you get dirty looks if you do not tip to the full 20%. I will tip how I feel the service has been and that’s how it should be. Megan did not have to do what she did for grandma that night or what she did for the man fighting Cancer , I Truly believe that she did it not for the tip, but because she loves people and she cares. Thank you so much for making my Mom feel like the special woman that she is that night, you cannot put a price on that. We need more people like Megan in this world; I want to wish her the best of luck at the upcoming Server competitions in Calgary.
Also a special thank you to the ladies at @okanaganlifemag Wendy and Laurie for sending me info on the Best servers list in the Okanagan in which Megan is ranked 3rd, check out the Spring issue for the complete lists, also to the entire staff of @the_hood (Hooded Merganser), whether you’re a big superstar or just a Secret Santa they treat you with respect and dignity and make your brief stay with them feel inviting. If ever you have the Chance and are in Penticton stop by and ask for Megan and Les and say thank you for understanding what it takes to be a stars of customer service and treating people the right way.
I will be back in the Okanagan and I know where I am going for dinner with Mrs. Santa