Big Daddy

Commemorating the unofficial start of the season, a shout-out this week to the cheerful “worker bees” at Big Daddy’s for their exemplary understanding of service and its performance.

Located in Wells, Maine, it’s a great place for homemade ice cream.

It’s an even better place for speedy, smiling and professional service provided by a cohort from whom (stereotypically) one might not expect such service.

At the risk of sound like a cranky Andy Rooney: how often have you encountered someone in the service industries who doesn’t know how to greet customers? (Is saying “Hello” really all that mysterious?)

Or they can’t seem to figure out what to do when money is transferred from customer to provider. (Has “Thank you” gone out of fashion?)

And just when did “All set” – as either a statement or question – become the way to finalize transactions?

Recently, after purchasing a newspaper from a wordless, behind-the-counter cashier, he told me I was “Good.” Uh-huh. An assessment from a source that I’ve long awaited.

Though I’ve not empirically measured this dimension of the Big Daddy’s staff, I’m pretty sure that during summer months the staff is comprised, largely, high school students.

I confess to being guilty of making a judgment based upon appearances.

And invariably, whenever I’ve gone to Big Daddy’s, I’m greeted, asked how they can help me, promptly provided with exactly what I requested, told the total amount of money due, and then thanked.

All of this is accompanied by a smile with attitude – a pleasant, happy attitude. As though the server genuinely appreciates my business.

It’s a refreshingly different kind of encounter than the one that seems more often than not to occur – or, at least seems more memorable for all the wrong reasons.

And it encourages customer loyalty. While Big Daddy’s ice cream is, in fact, great, it’s also not the only place where such a product or service can be found.

Closer to (my) home, the Wegmans supermarket chain also has either terrific employee training or has stumbled upon a formula for hiring only the most pleasantly professional and accommodating employees.

Bravo to the staff at Big Daddy’s. And Wegmans.

And, for those who might be curious, I told the ice cream shop’s manager exactly these sentiments.

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