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These are the words that come out of my mouth each time I get the opportunity to enjoy eating out, whether at my local hang-out, or when traveling abroad. If not offered, my next question is “what is your name?” Why? Because the person that is waiting on me is another human being, just like me. Personally, I am grateful that they have made the choice to make another person’s valuable time just a bit more memorable and enjoyable in this crazy, fast-paced world. And then, I thank them again for waiting on me.

I’m a social creature and am, at times, a little concerned over the lack of gratefulness that we have all witnessed since the pandemic. So many of us were held hostage, stuck inside, devoid of social, person-to-person interaction vital to our well-being. Perhaps we spent too much time on our devices, hoping that this would substitute for what was missing in our lives? It didn’t.

Now, we are free to roam the planet once again, and some of us are traveling with a vengeance, and a troubling lack of gratefulness.

Being constantly plugged in, phones in hand, not knowing what to do in times of silence and tranquility has robbed us of our patience and our once natural ability to treat others with kindness and respect. I can’t express enough how important it is to feel grateful when interacting with anyone, especially those in the service industry.

The food and beverage industry was decimated over the last few years – many left the industry for good. Those who came back are more valued than ever before. Yet, many businesses are forced to operate short-staffed, working hard to, at times, meet unreasonable expectations, never seen prior to COVID.

We want it, and we want it now. We can’t continue to live like this.

Training our staff to be kind and treat our guests with respect has always been our number one priority. Over the last year, training staff to be emotionally resilient in the face of unreasonable, unkind, and sometimes deeply disrespectful customers has become our second priority.

We are all so happy when you choose to experience the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. In return, we ask that you take a moment to reflect, knowing that the person who presented you with your train tickets, helped you board, prepared your food, and delivered your entrees and drinks, are people, just like you, who treasure feeling appreciated and respected.

We all have a responsibility to do our part every day in making the world a better place. Being both kind and grateful will go a long way in repairing what we’ve lost over the past few years.

I’m grateful for you, our guest! Thank you for being here! I’m also grateful for my staff who makes a choice to be here to serve you, and continues to support their families by working in the hospitality industry.

The next time you ride with us, I hope you immerse yourself in the beauty that surrounds you, fully experiencing the Royal Gorge on the train that takes you there.