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  Service Stars

The waiter who was dissatisfied with his service... and did something about it

Satisfactory customer service is seldom memorable. What is memorable is poor service and service that goes the extra mile. Sometimes it only takes a small gesture to change a routine customer service experience into one we will recall months later, we will tell others about and will cause us to become repeat customers. Those who do those little extras are truly Service Stars.

Part of providing good service is the ability to recognize when you don’t. Jason, a waiter at the Moose Factory in Edmonton, understands this.

Following a performance of the Nutcracker Suite by the Alberta and British Columbia Ballets in early December 2002, we decided that evening would not be complete without dessert and coffee. A member of our party suggested the Moose Factory.

The restaurant was busy. After a short wait, we were taken to a table and given the regular menus. As we didn’t want a meal, we waited for our waiter to appear and asked for the dessert menu.

The wait for the waiter’s first visit was longer than one would expect, as was the wait for him to return with the dessert menu and then to return to take our order. At one point Jason apologized for not being more attentive, explaining that he was also serving a group of 30 at another table. We let him know we were in no hurry. We were enjoying each other’s company and conversation.

Eventually the desserts and our beverages, which in most cases had become special coffees, arrived. We ate, drank, talked and waited for the bill to arrive. When Jason brought the credit card slip for signature, I noticed that he had drawn an X through the space that is always left blank for us to add a tip. I asked about this.

“You didn’t get a chance to know me. I am really quite charming and usually very attentive. I hope you will come back so I can show you,” he responded.

We probably will.


Nelson Scott offers several Customer Service Presentations, including Customer Service MAGIC: Changing Complainers into Loyal Customers; What Your Mother Taught You About Customer Service and other Training Resources developed by Service Quality Institute and the Vital Learning Corporation.


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A professional trainer, speaker, and consultant since 1995, Nelson Scott works with organizations that are committed to making the right hiring decisions, developing and retaining productive staff, and strengthening relationships with customers.  Learn more by visiting or e-mailing


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