What I Learned from the Man at the Steakhouse

I sat by myself, visiting on a trip just wanting to get a bite to eat. I go to a fancy restaurant, where I am greeted by a server who opens the door for me. She sits me at a table and gives me a dinner menu. The dinner menu is only on one page, consisting of food that is priced mostly over $50. Porterhouse, rib-eye, all types of steaks were on the menu. “What do you recommend?” I ask, and Jennifer, the server, says “I recommend the Lobster Mac and Cheese and Wagyu Burger”, so I order both. This is the life I say, and I predict this food will be something out of this world.

As I looked over the menu, I noticed three older men around their 50s at the table next to me. Out of the three, one stood out to me over the others. He looked like he was in his early 50s with slick back hair, a blue long sleeve shirt and slacks, with a tie and tie clip slightly lower than it should be. He sits back in his chair with his leg up on top of his other knee; these individuals have been at the fancy restaurant for longer than me and had not even ordered, as I had already ordered my food right when I got there.

The server gives me some free appetizers consisting of bread, crackers, and butter. While waiting on my main entree to come in, I listen in on the three older men’s conversations. The one in the blue long sleeve shirt and slacks, let’s call him George. George was talking to the two other men about his life, talking about being a CEO of a company and telling them what has been going right and wrong. Not only does he talk about his personal life, he talks about his closing deals with his clients in a non-bragging way. He says “I bought this $5000 suit and closed a deal with these clients”, as he controlled the conversation with these individuals. He begins to talk about what he did the past week, which was go with his family to Las Vegas where they stayed at the Wynn. Not only did they stay at the Wynn, they had front row seats to shows in Las Vegas including Penn and Teller.

While speaking with these individuals, the only thing that they have ordered is wine. He talks about the elegancy of wine, especially the expensive wine made in the 1900s and how he purchased a $1000 wine a few weeks ago. My main entree comes, and they still have not ordered anything until I am halfway done with my food; he orders a wedge salad, and they follow his actions and order something similar.

I give this example of this individual George because I learned so much from observing in only 30 minutes of dinner. I did not even know the man nor was I even in the conversation. Here is what I took from my observation:

  1. The Way You Present Yourself Shows Who You Are: While hearing most of the conversation with George and the other two individuals, I could tell he had great confidence in not only his words but what he did as a living. He presented himself as an individual with the utmost confidence and knew what he was talking about.
  2. He worked hard to get to this point in his life: While speaking about how much value his suits and wine were, I could tell that he was not only a hard-worker but also that he provided his clients with great service.
  3. He controlled the conversation and the room: While ordering from the menu and speaking with the other two individuals, he took control of the conversation and made it his own way. Although he spoke about himself and what he had been up to, he would allow the other two individuals to give their input, but you could see that he had the most confidence and prestige out of all of them. He even let one of the guys order wine for them while he went to use the restroom.
  4. He made sure he knew the server’s name: While speaking with the server, he would ask for her name at first and then would remember it every time he spoke with her. This then created a personal connection/rapport between himself and the server, showing the server that she was important and noticed. This translates into better service skills from the server.
  5. He was professional but also personable: He presented himself as professional and even wore professional clothing that was more-so business professional; the other two wore business casual.

Confidence comes a long way in this world. By being confident, you can show your true self and control conversations. All the work that you have done throughout your career, you should be proud to talk about because it took much time and effort. The sky is the limit!



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