Senses of Service
What is service? It is the total experience that a customer gets through people, when satisfying a need. Service touches all the senses of a discerning customer. Let us examine each component.
Customer like to see a well-groomed person. The way food is presented with colour balance and attractive positioning on the plate creates the gourmet experience. It is a well-known saying in the food industry that presentation is everything.
A diner is influenced by how fresh a server smells. It gives him or her the confidence of the hygiene standards of the establishment. The aroma of food in the dining industry is well-known. Appetising smells trigger hunger and want. The chef builds this into the total food preparation and presentation. We have known coffee shop to crush coffee beans to give that fresh coffee aroma to passers by to attract them to the restaurant.
There are things that should not be heard by the customer and things that should. A customer does not like to hear noisy air-conditioners, waiters fighting among themselves, the clatter of pots and pans, loud music(unless in a night club),etc. What they like to hear is the courtesy shown by the servers, the use of their name, suggestions in case of doubt, soft music, etc. What guests like to hear are also the crackle of papad or the sizzle of grills taken care by the chef.
This is one most applicable to the food industry. Taste defines the customer’s ultimate experience. Chefs have gone to the extent of providing the experience with innovative use of spices, cooking methods and beverages. It is common to find wine enhancing the flavours of sauces and extracts of herbs to marinate meats. The taste of meat cooked in earthen ovens is different from those cooked on charcoal spits. Tastes are the distinctive signature to a cuisine offered by an establishment. The chef’s skill provides the experience.
The touch of hot food or cold desserts to the palate, create the experience. Warm napkins to clean hands before a meal or the soft feel of the table napkin all are responsible for the touching experience.