Team Waffle House

Team Waffle House

Last summer, my husband and I stopped to have breakfast at our favorite Waffle House in Cornelia, GA. As usual, they were extremely busy with the morning rush. As we sat down, I noticed that most of the patrons in the restaurant did not have any food. My first thought was, “This is going to take forever!” We were not in a big rush that morning, so we hung around.  As a people watcher,  I love to just sit and watch people. As I was looking around the restaurant, I saw happy people laughing and appearing to have a great time while they waited on their food.

If you have ever been to a Waffle House, you know that the grill is visible to all the patrons in the restaurant and you also can hear every order called out. As the order is called, the cook pulls plates and places condiments in a very strategic locations that are part of the “Waffle House Code.” This is the staff’s way of making sure you get what you ordered.

As I watched orders being called and dishes stacking up on the line, I could see a bit of stress surfacing in the one and only cook on the line.  Within a few moments, the shift manager showed up and took all the orders and announced that they would be implementing their rush protocol - basically, it was an “all hands on deck” alert … including hers.  She began to assist the cook, and all the servers began putting the plates together. Within 15 minutes, every patron in the restaurant had their food, including us!

What impressed me most was the willingness for everyone to work together and serve one another. No one made an excuse. No one disappeared. No one got a bad attitude. Everyone jumped in and did whatever was needed to get the job done. Isn’t that what teamwork is all about? Serving one another? All of us have been part of a team at some point in our lives. Many of you have probably been in a situation, maybe at work or church, where you had an opportunity to serve one or more team members. How did you respond?

There are many places in Scripture where service is addressed. Here are a few examples:

  • Galatians 5:13 – “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”
  • Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
  • Mark 10:45 – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
  • 1 Peter 4:10 – “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
  • Matthew 25:40 - “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

There are times when we are better at serving than others.

Team (doesn’t) work!

That morning at Waffle House could have gone a completely different direction. The manager could have had ego issues and not belittled herself to help the cook. Some of the servers could have complained that it wasn’t their job to put the orders together. Others could have demanded that it was their break time and disappeared. The cook could have let the pressure get the best of him and just walked out. I’m sure some of you have seen or, maybe, even been part of a dysfunctional team. Some of the reasons a team doesn’t work may be due to pride, ego, unresolved conflicts, lack of or bad management, or the employee feels underappreciated or undervalued.

Maybe you have been that team member that caused the team not to work. I know I have had a couple of times where I was that team member. It’s not a great spot to be in but it’s not the end of the world.

Need a Service Check-Up?

There are times when we are better at serving than others. We are human. We are not perfect. We get tired. We get frustrated. We fail. We cause others to fail. What next?

  • Pray that God will open your eyes to any faults that need to be addressed. – “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” – Romans 14:13
  • Make amends if you are in the wrong. – “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:13
  • Don’t keep beating yourself up over it. Forgive yourself and move forward. – “… But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”  - Philippians 3:13
  • Check your ego and your pride levels. – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” – Philippians 2:3
  • If you are the manager of the team, make sure you encourage and appreciate your team. – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
  • Ask God to open your heart and eyes to opportunities to serve others. – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7
  • Just do it! No excuses. No disappearing. No bad attitude. – “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” – Hebrews 13:16

How will you serve today?

How will you serve today?

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Kim Rider

Kim is the Director of Operations at Lead Like Jesus. She comes to the Lead Like Jesus team with nearly two decades of management and IT experience, including network support, project management, and department director roles. She also enjoys communications, and writes as a hobby.  She received her dual Bachelor’s of Arts degrees in Computer Information Systems and Business Administration from Piedmont College in Demorest, GA.

Kim and her husband live in Northeast Georgia with their two children and grandson.  She enjoys playing golf, running, and hiking in the North Georgia mountains.

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