Here’s a great example of what can be achieved when you have a great team behind you who are fully engaged in the customer experience and committed to giving great customer service … whatever the circumstances!
The power went off the day before at about 10.30pm. Knowing that, not only was it Christmas Eve and we had a Wedding Reception booked, all the local people would need to get a hot cup of tea or coffee, we arrived at the Queens Head early to work out what we were going to do.
Staff had thought the same and had arrived. First thing was to work out what “CAN” be done. So, one member of staff, who was very much out of her comfort zone, was given the task of lighting the fire in the Inglenook.
Cleaning, without the vacuum cleaner, could be done as well as the bottling up. Our beer pumps are the old fashioned type that don’t need electricity.
Meanwhile our Chef, made sure we had gas for the Barbecue, should it be needed and the petrol gel heaters for the Chafers, for keeping food warm.
Locals arrived to help too.
A small generator was used to operate the fans over the gas oven and extension leads found to operate the till and card machine. Without question, water was boiled to make everyone tea and coffee, and then preparations for the lunch menu and the Wedding Reception began.
One of our customers brought in a bag of all sorts of candles and candle holders.
The most useful people, were those that had been members of the Scout movement, because it was the “make-do-and-mend attitude” and “be prepared” attitude that really shone through. Being positive was extremely important and dismissing anyone who arrived with the “doom and gloom” attitude, who could only come up with negativity.
Our entire family were Scouts, as was our Chef and so between us all we managed to inspire the rest of the staff that everything was possible, even if it had to be done a little differently.
The Wedding Party were amazed at what we had achieved, even if the Wedding Cake was missing its spun sugar decoration. The Medieval atmosphere made it more special.
Once the lunch time service was over and the gas cooker wasn’t needed,we had more capacity on the little generator and we managed to put up some temporary lights behind the bar, because the poor staff were getting rather sleepy.
The Pub was packed, right up until the electricity came back on at about 11.00pm. Having discussed with everyone about how to cook their Christmas Dinners on a Barbecue and maybe have all those without heating come to the pub for a joint Christmas Dinner celebration, everybody cheered, went home and had their Christmas as originally planned.
With special thanks to Anita Burdfield for sharing her story. Well done Anita and team for showing us just what can be done!