Customer Service Transcends the Language Barrier

During the 4th of July holidays I took an extended weekend vacation in order to go overseas and take in the Festival of San Fermin.  Most often, this festival is simply called the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain.  While this trip was one of the most exciting adventures for me I did find time to pick up a few customer service pointers while there.

The hotel that I was staying at in Pamplona was approximately three blocks away from the festival.  Between my hotel and the heart of the festival there were six sidewalk cafes that served breakfast, light lunches, coffee and cold drinks.  As we made our way to and from the festival a few times each day we found time to stop by all six cafes.  Of the six, we found ourselves particularly drawn to the Café Roche.

While sitting at the Café Roche counter enjoying our lunch one day we looked around the café and noticed how people were

The owner of Café Roche mixing up a batch of Sangia while whistling a Spanish tune.
The owner of Café Roche mixing up a batch of Sangia while whistling a Spanish tune.

lined up for seating.  As we finished our lunch we stepped outside onto the sidewalk I noticed that none of the other five cafes seemed busy at all.  I then made it a point to go back to Café Roche the next day to see what set that café apart from the rest.

As we left our hotel the next day to head to the downtown area for the festival we stopped in at Café Roche.  Immediately upon entering three of the four workers greeted us.  I am not sure exactly what they said but we did feel warmly welcomed because they all looked our way with big smiles and waved hello.  After sitting down at the counter one of the waitresses asked for our order, in Spanish.  After stumbling through an attempt to order a couple of drinks I realized she was as fluent in English as I was Spanish so I just held up two fingers and pointed to a bottle behind the bar.  Amused, she belly laughed and brought our drinks to us. . . again with a smile.

As we sat enjoying our drinks I watched the café employees go about their business.  They all were smiling and they all stayed busy.  I never saw one employee seem anything less than enthusiastic about their jobs.  Their positive energy carried over into the crowd as well.  The owner would stop by each table and slap people on the back while telling humorous stories that even kept my attention. . .  though I couldn’t understand a word.

I would describe the workplace at Café Roche as being a happy and welcoming environment.  I found that with each visit I left in a much better mood thanks to the friendly and smiling folks at Café Roche.

I encourage everybody this morning to make their workplace a happy environment.  Not only will it make your work more fun but it’s also great for business.  — Luke

“Most folks are as happy as they make up their mind to be.”  Abraham Lincoln

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Heather Hogue

    Sounded like an awesome place to visit with some great take aways!

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