My first stop in my travel to Egypt from Cambodia was a decent breakfast cafe on the riverside in Phnom Penh to fill up prior to my 20 hour journey.
As I came in, it was just after 7am and they had clearly just opened minutes ago, but already had one large table of ten or twelve people.
They also had a cleaner hoover the carpet. While understandable that perhaps I was very early, but I still believe that if it is 7am and you are grabbing a coffee, you probably don’t want to experience someone hovering right next to you.
Anyway, I ordered and didn’t say anything.
I wondered what would happen if this was Italy, or if I was my dad, who was infamous when it came to his expectations of service in restaurants, hotels, and whatnot.
He probably would have walked out.
And in Italy, almost anyone would complain right away, but incredibly enough this large contingent of fellow breakfast consumers seemed quite content to talk loudly over the noise, as if it’s something that didn’t agree at them so much.
They appeared to be Malaysian or Singaporean.
When my coffee came, I asked the waitress politely if they could stop hovering, and then that was that.
Her reaction clearly showed that she felt it was an obvious and reasonable request to ask, but then why is that not something she could figure out by herself prior to a customer having to ask?
It is critical when offering a service to understand your customers and proactively look after them.