A master class in customer experience from a teenager

I was recently in Lyme Regis on holiday, where we tend to spend at least one week each year.

We enjoy this part of the world for its micro climate, friendliness and I do like a spot of fossiling .

Due to Covid, it was far busier than usual and we had to book our meals out weeks in advance such was the demand for restaurants.


One evening we had booked into the Harbour Inn, situated strangely enough, on the edge of the harbour. But this was to be no ordinary meal sitting outside a pub with a wonderful view of Lyme Regis’s beautiful seafront. No, this was to be a masterclass in sales and service excellence that many businesses would pay good money to put their staff through.

It started as we were seated

Being told our waiter for the evening would be ‘Casper’ and he would join us momentarily. Now I do not recall ever meeting anyone called Casper before, and my mind automatically conjured up a picture of Casper the ghost. Within seconds of being seated Casper appeared, no not a ghostly apparation  but a wide eyed fresh faced teenager, dressed rather ‘surf dude just got out of bed style’. ‘Hi’ he said with all the enthusiasm of a young puppy dog ‘I’m Casper, really good to meet you all’. This was accompanied by a smile that would have put Holly Willoughby to shame.

Casper explained that he would be ‘personally looking after us all evening’ and we were to please  let him know if there was anything we wanted. He then took our drinks order, presented the menus to us and pointed out to our six year old daughter who had brought her new felt pens and colouring book along, ‘Wow you have your pens all ready to do the maze puzzle on the back of the children’s menu, do you think you can do it before I get back with your drinks?’ With that he disappeared (not in any kind of ghostly way)

Our six year old turned to us and said ‘he’s really nice isn’t he?’  Wow, in less than sixty seconds he had won over the most demanding critic in our little group!

Starters and main course were served with equal friendliness, enthusiasm, and a big smile.

When my wife chose honeycomb ice cream for dessert, he was quick to point out that it was more vanilla than honeycomb, just to warn us!

When we got to the coffee stage, his question was ‘Would you like to try one of MY coffees? I make great coffee’ How could we refuse, two coffees upsold and yes they were great coffees.

When the bill was presented his comment was ‘I hope you enjoyed your evening, when are you coming back to see ME again?’

We rebooked with ‘Casper’ for two nights time and he got himself a very nice tip.

Two nights later I happened to speak to the owner to pass on to him how impressed with Casper’s service we were. She told me that Casper had only started two weeks ago, had never worked in hospitality before, was a bit scruffy but she had recruited him based on the fact that ‘He was so bright eyed and bushy tailed, I couldn’t resist his enthusiasm’.


Maybe a lesson for us all in what to look for when recruiting?


Joe Hinton

Managing Director and Business Mentor

UK Business Mentoring Group

07739 041044



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