Our busy season

 Nov 01, 2010 |  Written by Anupa Mueller

This is our first season with our new, larger space.  Although it's been a year since we expanded, it's taken a year for us to settle into our space and for customers to find us or re-acquaint themselves.  Customers have favorite tables, they like the familiarity of the known.  So here we are a year later and we are seeing quite an upsurge in traffic.  We always do well in the colder months since it's the season for tea but we seem busier than before.  In the past two weeks, we've been talking about pace and service and whether one can be too busy and how that affects customers. We have a well-established base of repeat customers who are used to a certain pace of service - being greeted, seated and served.  There's a rhythm of service - a fine balance between conversation, civility, hospitality and efficiency.  Over time, we've weeded out those servers who are brusque, rough, déclassé or simply unsocial.  A friend commented on Saturday that it seemed antithetical that a tearoom would be frenetic, that it should be calm.  Well, I don't know that I've ever aimed for calm but I do strive for warmth and welcome.  Here's part of an e-mail I received yesterday from one of our very regular customers.  If you're in the restaurant business, you know how invaluable this is.
Today...the place was packed...and it was non-stop.  What was amazing was that through all of this, they managed to hold things together and maintain the standards we have come to enjoy time after time.  How they can maintain the presence of mind to brew a cup of tea perfectly under this kind of pressure is testimony to their ability work as a team and their determination to delivery quality.  I know that you have likely made these same observations yourself and heard this from other guests but as loyal customers, we thought it important to let you know.

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