A few years ago, my friend Tim, who loved people more than anyone I have ever known, demonstrated to me the right way to go out to eat. When the waiter/waitress would arrive at the table, before my friend even got a drink order, he asked their name. He introduced himself, usually by shaking hands. He asked them a little about themselves. Then he mentioned that in a few minutes, he is going to pray over dinner and would like to know if there is anything he can pray for for that waitperson. You'd be amazed at how much that was appreciated.
Once, we had a waitress named Abby. I mentioned to him, after she went away to go get drinks, that my daughter Abby is really named Abigail, which means "Father's Joy". When the waitress came back, my friend told her what he had just learned about her name. She had no idea what her name meant, and we had a great conversation about her dad and the distance between them.
When he asked for a prayer request, she mentioned a very tough personal situation she was in. His response was equally personal and caring. She was moved to tears. A week later, he had a bible and nice gift package sent to that restaurant to give to Abby, our waitress.
Sadly, my friend died last year, at age 55 way too young, from cancer. Though he died in September, the last time I could have a coherent conversation with him was a year ago, at a May wedding. So I feel like it's been a year since I (temporarily) lost him. But his life was an inspiration to me, and is a reminder to me of how I can best live out his legacy by treating folks in the service industry as Jesus would treat them.