I love a great meal… always have.
But what I really enjoy is when a great meal in a fantastic restaurant is made even better because a server has the ability to create a fun experience.
That’s what happened to my family and me on Saturday night at Seasons 52 in Orlando. We already knew we loved the food and ambiance because we’d been there before. But what we hadn’t counted on was the fun we had, thanks to our server extraordinaire, Trent Wayne Robinson.
The great service we expected started immediately when he adjusted the lighting and music volume for us, wished my mother and sister a happy birthday (after they’d received birthday cards from the restaurant), and made several recommenda-tions based on our stated preferences. He demonstrated exceptional knowledge of the food and wine, answering all our questions without having to go to the kitchen and ask.
To our delight, he also conversed and joked with us. But the best part was when, after placing a Bloody Mary in front of my husband Bruce, Trent overheard him make a passing comment that the Bonefish Grill puts three olives in their Bloody Marys (there was only one his drink at Seasons 52). We didn’t realize he had even heard the comment until he returned a minute later to place a plate containing two swizzle sticks, each holding three olives, in front of Bruce and said, “Bonefish Grill gives you three olives… well, we give you SIX!”
BOOM! We all cracked up as he walked away, smiling and saying, “I heard that comment and I didn’t like it!” From that point on, he “played” with us every time he came to the table… and turned a great experience into a WOW experience in every way.
What was it that made all the difference between Trent and other (even excellent) service professionals?
- He gives new meaning to the term “service professional.” Trent’s pride showed through in everything he did, from his extensive knowledge of the menu and wine list, to the appropriate pairings of each, to his knowledge of people and how to treat them.
- He has a great personality (outgoing, enthusiastic and warm), so he is a natural fit for a job that brought him in such close proximity with valued customers.
- Trent is able to quickly gauge his customers’ personalities and determine the appropriate level of play in which to engage with them, a skill not easily mastered. We’ve often been to restaurants where the server was competent, but stiff, formal and unable to play, as well as those where servers were intrusive and inappropriately “familiar.” Incredibly, we’ve also been to restaurants where a server has actually told us they’re not allowed to “play” with customers… a dreadful policy that creates “robots” instead of humans serving customers.
- You can see that Trent constantly thinks ahead to what we might need next… and when. His total attitude is that of being the best he can be at his job.
- Most of all, he enjoys people, as well as what he does for others, and allows it to show.
Trent not only provides WOW experiences for his customers, but admirably proves that when someone takes such enormous pride in the way they conduct themselves, studies their craft and dedicates themselves to serving others, no matter what their position or title, it always results in a WOW experience.
Thank you, Trent!