Settling back into life in Guangzou after spending the summer in the UK I got to thinking, what do I miss from "home".
Well.......Google and interference free Internet, steak, consideration for others? Yes, all of those, but after a meal in a restaurant last night I realised that what I really miss is SMILES!
When will Chinese people or business management learn that a smile and personal attention is very important. This particular restaurant even had iPad waiters (order placing) fixed to the table so no one to ask advice. The service was very slow so technology obviously was not helping in the kitchen. The staff had sullen faces and only spoke if they had to. Even paying the bill did not illicit one word, not even a thankyou. Needless to say we will not visit again.
I realise that shop and restaurant staff are not well paid and probably work long hours, but shopping and eating out could be made a more pleasant experience and promote return business if staff did not view customers as an inconvenience. Although I don't agree with mandatory tipping (subsidising the employer payrol) or service charges, in the UK I am happy to tip if the service provided is beyond what should be expected. Perhaps if the staff knew that providing a personable service might be financially rewarding, eating out might be a more pleasurable experience.
I also realise that this is not going to happen unless customers and business owners learn to treat shop and restaurant staff with respect.