I went out to a new BBQ place with a friend. He is moving out of state and it was our last chance to catch up before he leaves. He had been there, but it was my first time. I asked the server for some help with the menu. His favorites, most popular etc. The server was terrific. Efficient, knowledgeable, friendly. Until he wasn't.
It isn't what you think. He didn't drop off the food and abandon us. Quite the opposite. He wouldn't go away. He mistook our politeness to mean that we were friends. It was like a bad first date. It got too personal, too fast. Questions and stories and over-solicitousness.
Understand I know he meant well. And with myself being in the business I can be a bit chatty as well. But that point was breezed past before my food was even eaten.
The measurement of personal service is that it is about the person you are serving. Pay attention to them and what they want. It is about their needs, their wants. Plainly put, it's about them not you. Always.
Pay attention to what cues they give you. Verbal and non-verbal. Listen and respond accordingly. It doesn't matter if you want to take the order now, if there are contracts on the table, walk away. Some cues are more subtle. But people always tell you what they need.
And I needed to spend time with my friend. Which I finally got. And some great BBQ. And I will go back. Alone, when I need someone to chat with.