Etiquette & Engagement: Poised

Imagine if every person acted like a lady or gentleman…..

Etiquette Tip: Ladies and gentlemen are poised when serving others.

A well-dressed and neatly appointed gentleman approaches you with bright eyes and brighter smile and welcomes you and your friends or family back to a restaurant. He learns the names of those in your party and then introduces himself to you, anticipates your party size and leads you to your table seamlessly. As he seats you, he places menus gracefully at each place setting, asks if you have any questions and wishes you a wonderful dinner. How excited are you? The poised gentlemen has prepared you to indulge in whatever the chefs are cooking up tonight and enjoy the company of those with whom you are dining. But what if it had gone something like this: a gentleman with a wrinkled shirt and jacket that is too small barely glances up as you approach the host stand. He eventually asks “how many?” without a shred of elegance. You let him know that there are four of you, and he grabs the menus. He takes you to your table and leaves the menus in the middle of the table and over his shoulder mumbles, “enjoy your dinner” as he trudges back to the host stand. How excited are you now?

The way in which one carries her or himself while serving customers sets the tone for the experience. You might have the best food, best facilities, best program, etc., but none of that will matter if you don’t have the poised staff to match and make sure the experience is framed with grace. This does not mean that you have to be fancy, but it does mean that your employees have to look clean, put together and be engaged as they serve your customers. There is no time for shabbiness in your appearance or apathy in your attitude in any business—regardless if your business is a roadside stand or a large luxury provider. At The Ritz-Carlton, we know that maintaining “professional appearance, language and behavior” is a precursor to delivering legendary service.

The motto of The Ritz-Carlton is “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” This motto sets a tone of goodwill and grace for all.