My Visit to the Kindness Pop-Up Cafe
Among all the jobs in the world, restaurant waiters fall into the class of jobs where there is a lot of interaction with both customers and co-workers. And it is also one of the unhappiest jobs, in my opinion. Not only do they have to seat a customer, take the order, tend to the customer while their order is being prepared, and bring the customer their order, they also have to communicate the orders properly to the chefs, prepare the final check for the customer, take money from the customer and deliver it to the restaurant they work for.
I have read many articles and stories about bad customer service, but there was not enough being said about bad customers. Last year, I helped a friend to do a dinner shift on a Sunday evening. It was my first time being a waitress and I was very excited about it initially. However, my excitement was short-lived.
Within 6 hours of my waitress life, I have seen some typical examples of bad customers which include:
– Customers talking on their mobile phones while ordering (so they just point).
– Claiming that they didn’t order the items that they did.
– Sending back food that was cooked perfectly.
– Complaining about the waiting time
While most of the customers I met are pretty decent, but just a few who are impolite, disrespectful or downright rude is enough to kill my day. Many of them talk to you like they are talking to their maid. Eg: “Give me tea.” / “One bubble milk tea. Hurry up.” When I go up to a table with a real smile on my face, happy to serve them, why do they give the rudest and nastiest responses ever? It’s as if I owe them money!
But of course, when a customer is super polite, it definitely makes my day too. Like just say a THANK YOU to me will make me happy. If you are good to your server, your experience will be about a thousand times better, and you might even get free stuff if you’re lucky.
The Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) wants to encourage everyone to start, show and share kindness. They have set up pop-up kindness cafes at various locations in Singapore, where customers get a discount when they practise their ‘please’ and ‘thank you’s.
This is an excellent way to inspire graciousness! Creation of a kinder and more gracious society cannot be journeyed alone. If everyone comes together to work towards a kinder and more gracious Singapore, life will be better for you and me. And this pop-up kindness café is definitely the first big step to a more gracious society!
So just last week, I went to Republic Poly to specially visit the kindness pop-up café. They were only there for two days and I was pleasantly surprised that they were using Jewel Coffee beans.
So here is how it works:
If you say “One Coffee”, you pay $5.
If you say “One Coffee please”, you pay $4
If you say “Good afternoon. Can I have one coffee, please? Thank you!”, you only pay $2!!!
Of course I said “Good afternoon. Can I have one coffee, please? Thank you!” and I get to enjoy a cup of Latte at only $2!
Look at the people and coffee cups waiting!
We even got a fortune cookie each together with a kindness message!
The world always looks brighter from behind a smile. Have you ever wanted to say thank you to someone for smiling and saying hello? It’s time to do it!
I read through all the messages on the kindness wall and I love this – Coffee & kindness makes my morning. Sometimes, I get grumpy taxi drivers who complained about the smallest things. Sometimes, I may meet a waiter who is having a bad day. But never give in to negativity. It is these days that we need to push forward with kindness and bring our awareness into the moment.
Here’s a shot with Michelle!
Kindness pop up café will be going to One Raffles Place and National Library soon. Remember to practise your courtesy when ordering a cup of coffee. Say “Good afternoon! One coffee please. Thank you!” And while you’re there, hashtag #KindnessCafe to share your experience.
Do you know that yellow gerbera daisy is a symbol to show appreciation of kindness? Hope this post encourages you to take ownership of kindness to create a more gracious society.
Ending this post with a meaningful poem I found online:
Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the flowers,
Kind deeds are the fruits,
Take care of your garden,
Keep out the weeds,
Fill it with sunshine, kind words and kind deeds.