The French Bouncer


I was sitting in a café in London last spring, and observed a restaurant’s bouncer working on the other side of the street. I gathered him to be French. A jovial fellow, I think, and quite observant in his work.

A woman one step ahead: Accompanied by a real gentleman. Or a mitten. It is difficult to say. But the bouncer was on top of the situation. He took one step ahead of the couple and threw some comment over his left shoulder to the woman, which made everyone laugh. Two steps and a stop. The couple checks the menu and agrees to go inside. The game is on!

A family of three: The father was walking on the side of the road, the mother on the side of the shop windows, and the child dictated the pace walking between the two. The glib bouncer knelt in front of the child. He must have dropped a ball in his pocket to playfully start a conversation with the little boss. And he scores once more!

Grande finale: The last one was quite tough. The woman looked like she had just eaten a lemon. The man fed up with barkers. They both kept fiddling with their phones as they walked forward in pace. Yet, an unfailing eye and an icebreaker drew in the couple to ‘just take a look’ at the nice-looking menu on the street.

My mouth fell open in amazement as the observant expert also dug up his phone and joined the couple. TripAdvisor must have done its mission. Three goals in three minutes. I was impressed.

The French bouncer is successful, because he does not play the game to get to make his own sales speech. He concentrates on two things past himself. The result, and the person he is facing.

Who do you serve? Do you know your client and your goal, like the French bouncer did?

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