Canada is a place with the friendliest and most courteous sales assistants and counter staff. We experienced this on our last visit to Montreal and the Quebec City and currently on our visit to Toronto, Waterloo and the nearby towns. In the Quebec Region you were invariably greeted with a “Bonjour” before the staff realised you don’t speak French and switched over to a “Hi” or “Hello”. French isn’t so freely spoken in the Ontario Region. Such courteousness and helpfulness isn’t all pervading in the cities of India. There are some very good examples, such as Appliances India in Aurobindo Place in Delhi, owned by Anand Gupta, although the rest of the staff need to learn a lot from the owner. Just the opposite is an Archies Outlet in Charmwood Village managed by a grumpy resident .You walked in and quickly walked out of the shop, encouraged by the manager not to buy anything. By and large our shop owners and assistants need to learn a lot on the courtiousness they need to show to their customers.
We visited a speciality store selling and serving tea in Waterloo , Davids Tea ,and experienced great salesmanship .We were immediately greeted on entering by a sales girl who enquired if this was our first visit and then went on to show us a very wide range of flavoured teas and got us to breath in the aroma of each .She then deftly moved us to another counter were a sales girl gave us a demo of tea making, including iced tea, and got us to order our preferred flavour of tea which we sipped in a little sit out in the shop. One was quite impressed by both the level of training and the motivation of the sales staff in this outlet.
At New Hamburg, we visited Phidellia, a little restaurant managed by Glenn and Karan specializing in teas, soups, salads, sandwiches and scones. Glenn was most amiable as he helped us through the order and when he placed the pot of tea on the table for us to help ourselves; he told us it didn’t matter if the tea dribbled out of the pot as we poured out the tea!! He even told us to take our time as we eat, so that we could enjoy the food .He reminded us that there was no hurry at all!! A table away from us, an elderly couple called out to Glenn and told him that they wanted to host a party for a group of eleven people, all in their eighties and nineties ,with some special requirements of the menu .Karan soon came over to understand the special needs and finalised an acceptable menu and seating arrangement for the senior citizens party.
I couldn’t help comparing and contrasting the experiences we had at Davids Tea and Phidellia. The two were different as you can see .One owner managed in a small town where everyone knew each other and time seemed to stand still; and the other a franchised chain with a carefully cultivated look and feel, and well trained sales staff. Unfair therefore to make comparisons. As Deepa would say, each was good in its own way. In Phidellias you got the feeling that Glenn and Karan wanted you to enjoy your meal and were particular about the quality of the food they cooked and served. In Davids Tea you experienced the sales staff doing a very good joy of selling things to you .Right from the tea pots, strainers, mugs and what have you ,besides off course the tea.
You were impressed by both and would in all probability return to both but Phidellia made you feel special besides the food was great and you would keep going back just for the food as indeed the Hensens do .