Here in Kansas City, we have a chain of BBQ restaurants that is famous for the greeting each customer receives. As you walk up to the counter, the energetic folks at Gates BBQ will shout, “Hi! May I help you?”
Although, to be honest, it sounds a tad bit like, “Hahmehaheppyou!”
Last week, we spent several days in the South. And I lost count of the times I was asked, “May I help you?” The difference down there? It wasn’t followed up with some smoked meat and fries tossed onto a platter and pushed down the cafeteria line. No, what came next was outstanding customer service and, more often than not, amazing food.
(Not that I’m complaining about Gates by any means. I’m just saying that our Southern eating experiences were something completely different.)
I’m so accustomed to mediocre or even lousy service that for the first couple of days, I honestly thought we were “lucking out.” It actually took me about four days to realize we weren’t just reaping the rewards of some good restaurant karma; we were experiencing that wonder we hear about, but rarely get to see firsthand up here in the, ahem, North.
We were experiencing Southern hospitality.
And ooooh, I loved it! Southern hospitality – from the friendly waiter at Chevy’s and the apologetic waitress at Flipper’s who gave us a discount after the cook put sausage on the sausage-free pizza we ordered to the helpful hotel desk guy who drew me a map of (wrong) driving directions from Orlando to Tallahassee and my Aunt Roz who welcomed us into her home and offered “something cold to drink,” which meant apple juice or Coke – works for me.
For more tips on what works, visit We Are THAT Family.
And for a few vacation photos, check out my Flickr albums.
I enjoyed reading your post. My husband wants to change careers, so he's been applying for jobs in lots of different areas, including the South. Your post gives me one more thing to look forward to if we do move to the South. Thanks!
i don't remember the souther hospitality so much when we went to orlando. maybe we didn't go to enough different places to eat! :-)
oh well. i'll just go to pizza street and pretend i'm in the south.
ahem. yeah, pizza street…
just checked out your photos… looks like you had a wonderful time!
(except for the plane ride? miss a didn't like it?)
The South ROCKS!
The South is wonderful- Southern hospitality isn't a myth! :)
Thank you for your comment – yes, I made up the recipe myself. I love experimenting in the kitchen :)
P.S. I love your blog!
Grrr! I didn't realize you have to sign up for an account to view Flickr. I'll post the pics for you all on here – probably later tonight.
See? Just another reason why y'all should find a reason to move down here :)
I am not a big fan of the heat or the scenery in Texas, but I always tell people that what you can't beat is the southern hospitality. It really is different! Of course there are crummy waiters too, but for the most part people are really friendly in the south.
Um – transplanted Yankee true-northern midwesterner here. 20+ years in the South (3 different states) and I have to tell you: IT'S A MYTH!! Southern hospitality is no different than any other part of the country (I've lived most everywhere). Some good/some bad. The summers can be brutal, so really think carefully before moving. Hurricanes really stink, too!
I love the mayahheppyouu? Hahaha! I am dying to enjoy some Southern hospitality and food. I loved hanging out in Nashville this year. May have to go back soon!
I was going to do a post in the near future on customer service and hospitality. We are so lacking it here in CA.
I will have to agree with #17 – socal isn't very hospitable in general. =(
Well Thank you. I will just accept this great compliment on behalf of all of us in the deep south! We are just raised this way….
James and I said the same thing. I thought maybe it was just the accent that made people sound friendlier but people really are nicer down there. It's all the sun!
The South is where its at! I have traveled to northern states, and there is really nothing like being deep in the south. I’m from Alabama, and we are awesome if I do say so myself! :)