You have to be very fortunate to work in a profession of your dreams and a one that makes you happy. I am proud to say it happened to me, thanks to a gentleman who told me after an interview for a wrong job, “you have a good smile, and you should be in the hospitality industry.” That was in fact the one message that changed my life, holding those words close to my heart, I began a journey to understand the magic of a smile in the food business.
It has taken me to people and places and kept me strong and optimistic in my profession. I saw incredible changes and the smile has dominated many of the outcomes of different works over the years. As you get excited and spread this joy to people, not everyone sees this influence as wholly benevolent and you come across people (both customers and colleagues) who find it hard to smile even when there’s nothing really for them to be serious about and you feel desperate to tell them, “please smile, look it’s a beautiful world”.
Serving food needs some skill, lot of patience and right emotional balance. We meet all kinds of people but our job remains same to everyone, to care for people and make them happy. I had the privilege of training and guiding a lot of catering staff with my experience and sharing my own vision on service.
With personal success, stories and rhapsody, I worked with hundreds of ambitious young people who entered catering jobs without much imagination, yet we worked together emphasizing a friendly smile to promote happy serving and lasting relationships with customers. A smiling waiter, salesman and receptionist always add value to the destiny of any organisation, in fact their genuine smile is as important as your brand image and the product itself.
On Children’s Day this week, it’s important to address the potential problems and importance to the next generation, especially the that of the hospitality industry to our interest!
There are many ways we could spread happiness in this world and the easiest will be the gift of a smile. I was blessed to talk to children about smile in a school in Sunderland where I was taking cooking classes, also last month at Rasa in Bangalore where kids learn the story and life of a restaurant. It was a surprise to see kids not too excited about smiling and naturally they look serious. Maybe lots of grown ups have lost the taste of smile and often show their revulsion as kids express happiness. Almost all those children wrote to me saying how much they enjoyed thinking about it and kept on smiling all day.
Children should be motivated to express happiness and smile, or else they will grow without the most powerful gift in life. The root of the problem lies right here, we don’t smile enough today because of innumerable issues nor acknowledge others who do it nicely. ‘If you want to attract a mate, surround yourself with happy friends’ thanks to The Times, London research recently on how to feel attractive as people.
For a happy society and united world, we will need happy children. They should dream, naturally fascinated and spread smiles for they are the owners of the future world. We need to make an effort to understand the world of children, may be by remembering our own childhood and the frustrations when nobody listen to us.
A good smile has to be learned and practiced from childhood, if it has to be a winner for you and lot more beneficiaries of your beautiful life. A free flowing smile will easily express your love, care and appreciation of any one around you.
The author is a London-based restaurateur who owns the Rasa chain