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Cafe Provence KC

Café Provence

Prairie Village, KS

For a good time, (make reservations): Here

Key words: Family. Home. Comfortable. Dedicated.

Check out their website: HERE

Depending on what kind of family you have, the idea of running a restaurant with them could seem like a Norman Rockwell vision or a Tim Burton one. I’d say Café Provence is more on Normans side; maybe with a Burton’s twist of personality.

Thirteen years ago Café Provence hung its shingle and opened the doors of their restaurant, Café Provence. The focus here is exceptional food matched with extraordinary service. They’ve succeeded in both arena’s. I found Café Provence on a Zagat list of top 25 restaurants in America noted for their service. No small thing when you consider there are over 35,000 fine dining restaurants in America.

What is this family doing that got them a spot on the Zagat list? They simply take care of their guests, and have been for 13 years. “We try to remain consistent,” Natalie, a server and family member, tells me. Consistency in service standards for sure, but let’s take it one step further and consider these woman have been serving here since its opening. That means they have been serving the same guests for the past ten years, and ten years with the same server is not common.

Danielle, whom the family refers to as The General (not to her face so shhh about it) has been a professional server for over 30 years. She was educated in France at one of their service schools; service is her profession. Natalie told me, “She taught me almost everything I know.”

When I asked Danielle for a piece of advice she could give to servers, her response is simple and spot on, “Work with your head, don’t work with your legs.” Excellent advice, Danielle! We’ve all worked with people who should hear this, and many of us started in this industry using our legs, not our head. Want some examples of this bad trait? How about when a server rings in a drink and goes directly to the bar to w a i t f o r i t. Or when a server walks to a table with a water pitcher and only waters that one table, or worse, just one guest at the table! That characteristic is a fast track to bad service and a need to overstaff.

This family team uses their head first and their feet second to get things done. Guests have their needs met before they even realize they had one. It’s like server magic, logical server magic, but magic just the same. Their efficiency affords them time to love on their tables, and because these woman are so warm, most people want some of their attention, which they are happy to give.

This restaurant is interesting to me because it’s the first one where I wanted to put down my notebook and recording device and sit down to dine. But why!? I usually want to jump in to service rather than hop in a seat and chillax.

I dwindled the reason down to one thing: I felt like being a part of their family. The family vibe in this restaurant made me feel invited into it and I wanted to take advantage of that unsaid invitation.

Let me explain the feeling to you because it’s key to their success (and yours too.)

You know how when you haven’t seen your family for a long time and you finally get together for a holiday? It was sort of like that. It’s not the rambunctious first interactions, or the big meal that you share together–it is more like the second or third day when everyone is sitting around watching T.V., some people are drinking wine, some are munching on snacks, one person is reading, another is playing Candy Crush. It is a safe, cozy, wonderful, feeling. That is what Café Provence feels like.

So the next time you want great food, excellent service, and a mellow family feeling, dine at Café Provence!

 

This restaurant team teaches us that the relationships we have with our fellow teammates is felt by everyone, so you better make them good.

 

Thank you Melanie, Danielle, Natalie and everyone else who makes this restaurant what it is: absolutely wonderful.

 

 

 

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