It took me by surprise.
It’s Civic Holiday Monday in Canada. The first Monday in August. Growing up, it symbolized summer was half over. In the days when we made stuff, it marked the end of the plant shut down; holidays were over.
That was a long time ago, well before COVID-19 and pandemics.
Today I rose and felt I needed a casual start to my day. I would head to the Grand Cafe for a great cup of coffee and a muffin. Since reopening from the pandemic shut-down, they have expanded an outdoor patio area. I could read, people watch and enjoy my coffee and pastry.
Being the holiday, I wasn’t sure they would be open. Before COVID-19, holidays were exceptional at the Grand Cafe. They were WAFFLE DAYS.
As I arrived, I saw more than the usual number of cars and began to worry. I wouldn’t get a table. Getting out of the SUV, I could see something was different. There was a bigger, higher table added to the patio and an attendant.
I headed for the patio, prepared to enter the cafe, and order my coffee and muffin. I casually asked the attendant as I passed, “and what are you offering today.”
“IT’S WAFFLE DAY!” she replied.
These aren’t just waffles. They are big waffles loaded with strawberries, blueberries, bananas, whip cream, and maple syrup. I placed my order, and as I took my seat on the patio, my waffle was being served.
All of this would make for a great experience on its own. However, the real delight comes from the staff and the service. They did everything right.
Small businesses can adapt quicker and easier, and so has Grand Cafe. They were among the first in town with a makeshift expanded patio when Ontario moved into phase two of the COVID-19 recovery. Today the waffle was served on a paper plate instead of china. It came with quality plastic utensils wrapped in a serviette and sealed. The maple syrup was already on the waffle. Still, if your taste buds required a little more sweetening, individual-sized servings were ready on the attendant’s table. They had thought of everything.
Hopefully, they will be able to do waffle days again on Labour Day Monday. I’m looking forward to it.