June 11, 2024

Do you iron your tablecloths?


Do you iron your tablecloths? I don’t. I hardly iron anything and come to think of it, I don’t even own any tablecloths… much to my mother’s dismay.

Fine dining restaurants are different. Our expectation is that tablecloths are used and crisply ironed. So, when I dined at Eleven Madison Park and sat down to the table with an ironed tablecloth, it was neither impressive nor remarkable. It was expected.

Attention to Detail

As the night went on and other patrons left, their tables were reset for new diners. Of course, an ironed tablecloth was set down but then something remarkable happened.

They re-ironed the tablecloths! Not with a normal iron but one of those old cast iron presses. We were mesmerised by the way they did it. It was like poetry in motion and done with such attention to detail.

It got me thinking about why they would do that. Maybe there is a practical reason to get out the folded creases. But I am pretty sure someone out the back could have ironed the tablecloths with an iron press that would have been quicker.

Making an Impression

I think it was all about making an impression. Not for the people that were about to dine at the table because, like us, they would be unaware that this happened. Who it impresses are all the diners that are watching. Well, it certainly impressed us.

And I was so impressed, that I am sharing the story.

I wonder what you could do in your organisation that is so impressive people share stories about it?