What Cafes in Austria have to do with our store

If you have ever had the luck to experience a classic cafe in Vienna, Austria, you will know the service is superb, something of another world.  The excellent level of service is not just communicated from employee to customer, it is inherent in the culture.  For instance one time I rose to leave after supping on cappuccino and cake, and an elderly gentlemen sitting in the corner hoisted himself to his feet to fetch my coat.  Now this type of gesture may not be appreciated by everyone, in an age where men offering coats can even be seen as insulting by some women (though honestly I don't know one who wouldn't be tickled by the attention.)  However, that type of kindness is a normal occurrence in Vienna.

 

There is you could say an expectation set by a standard in Viennese service culture, and it is one they pride themselves on because it is one of the best in the world.  It is not Paris, famous for the snooty waiter.  It is Vienna, famous for beautiful cappuccinos served on little white plates with a heaping of whipped cream and chocolate shavings - perfection.  Perfection in display.  Perfection in knowing how to delight from an aesthetic standpoint. 

 

Go to Cafe Central in Vienna and the wait staff will seem almost stiff with attention to your needs.  There is very likely a strict protocol they are following, given it is one of the most famous Cafe's in the world.  Although one doesn't wish for anyone to have a nervous breakdown because the cork on the champagne bottle broke, you can't help but respect they are working so hard to do a job very well.  A job, some might say, is a simple one. 

 

I lived in Austria for two years, and I see it's effect in our Bellingham shop every day.  While I'm not serving slices of cake, I do arrange my clothing as one might a row of colorful cupcakes.  Color...ah color!  It is eye-candy.  Or I create hand-drawn sales signs not unlike the childlike, imaginative window displays at Cafe Gerstner, which was the inspiration for the Cafe in the recent Wes Anderson film, "The Grand Budapest Hotel."  Service is important to me and I always notice it when I frequent other establishments.  And while I'm not taking stress-relief homeopathy tablets because I dropped a dress on the floor, I do make every effort to give a level of service that, like Vienna, is from another world.