A Tale of Two Restaurants

by: Larry Davies | Aug 26, 2010

Recently, I wrote about eating delicious barbecue and receiving encouragement. One reader sent the following comment: “PIERCE’S Pit Cooked BBQ is worth the trip. Food for thought: How do you get others to hunger for a right spiritual relationship with God with the same desire?” — Kim

Good question. “How do you get others to hunger for a right spiritual relationship with God with the same desire?” One answer is through another story.

Mell (my wife) and I were attending a conference at Disney World in Florida. (Yeah, yeah, it’s a tough job but someone has to do it.) Part of the conference training was to better understand the “Disney” way of providing more than expected when it came to entertainment and service. I found myself asking: Why? Why would someone travel hundreds or thousands of miles at great expense to visit Disney World?

The answer given by the Disney folks was: “Our ultimate aim is to provide ‘Magic Moments’ within every part of your journey through Walt Disney World from the time you enter to the time you leave.”

I certainly wanted to test this ‘Magic Moment’ idea out but how? When the class ended, Mell and I were hungry and wanted an early lunch so we wandered through the hotel lobby until we found a restaurant. “We’re closed now but should be open in 30 minutes.” The greeter said.

“We were hoping to eat an early lunch.” I replied.

“I’m sorry. However, another restaurant in this hotel is serving lunch now. Let me show you where it is.”

Immediately, she left her workstation and walked with us down to the other end of the hotel until we came in sight of a sandwich shop. She pointed to the restaurant, smiled and said, “I hope you enjoy your meal.” She then returned to her station. We were impressed. Why?

  1. She had an “I’m so glad to see you” smile.
  2. She stepped away from her station to help.
  3. Rather than merely point she took the time to walk with us.
  4. She seemed to genuinely appreciate our presence.

Of course, the answer is 5, or all of the above. Is this what Disney Inc. means by seeking to provide “Magic Moments?”

 

The sandwich shop was quiet and empty. We saw only one employee at the other end of the restaurant. He was bending over with his back to us fiddling with the controls of a big screen TV. He was obviously focused on something else, so I walked over and asked: “Where do we go to order lunch?”

 

He slowly turned around and gave us one of those, “why are you idiots bothering me?” looks and arrogantly pointed to the counter across the room. “Stand in line over there.” Then he turned back around continuing his attention to the big screen TV.

 

There were so many snide remarks, I could have said but instead we quietly walked across the room, then we turned, walked out the door and back down the corridor to the other restaurant. Why?

 
  1. We didn’t like the station he chose on TV.
  2. Sandwiches just aren’t for me.
  3. The wallpaper colors clashed with our clothes.
  4. We were willing to wait so we could enjoy eating in the other restaurant.

Of course the answer is 4, unless you happen to be a gourmet chef or fashion designer. We felt welcomed and valued in the first restaurant and decided it was worth waiting a few extra minutes.

 

Kim asked: “How do you get others to hunger for a right spiritual relationship with God with the same desire?” The answer has a lot to do with the treatment my wife and I received looking for a place to eat. We can learn from both experiences.

 

You could rightfully say, “Larry, this whole story sounds so commercial. We’re talking about helping others deepen their relationship with God not just finding a good place to eat.”

 

Yet, in the story of two restaurants in the midst of Walt Disney World, I discovered lessons that could help us understand the answer to Kim’s question: “How do you get others to hunger for a right spiritual relationship with God with the same desire?”

 

But the best part of the story is yet to come. When we returned to the other restaurant, we had quite an adventure and the “Magic Moments” continued.

 

Next: A Tale of Two Restaurants – Answers.

 


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