Sunday, January 11, 2015
So, when I came into the kitchen my attitude was less than positive. No veggie omelet. My loving wife sensing I had my intestines in an uproar about SOMETHING queried why and suggested a restaurant we hadn't been to in close to a year. We'd stopped eating there because the service was horrible and that's being complimentary!
Now in 40 years of marriage I have learned that listening to what Joan says is almost always to my personal benefit. So we went and boy was I surprised.
We were greeted warmly, checked on often and our meal was served hot and the manager checked on us to assure we were happy.
So I asked her, "What gives."
"They hired me 6 months ago, I cleaned house and found the people who fit our brand and our notion of customer service." She took a step back and grinned.
Owensboro's total population is roughly 50,000.
Later that day we took a trip to visit the grand kids and after they wore us out we drove to a restaurant we'd always enjoyed. We waited 10 minutes to be seated while the hostess and 3 servers stood around the bar chatting. (I'm being polite.) When we were finally noticed and seated we waited 10 minutes for menus and then we were ignored. After 15 minutes of watching 4 people talk about where they were going to drink after they finished work I announced we were leaving. No one seemed to care.
We walked up the block to another restaurant and had the opposite experience. As a matter of fact I had to politely ask the staff to leave us alone!
Louisville's population is 755,000.
I know the owner of the restaurant where we were treated poorly and I wrote him an email. Rather than apologize he told me that I didn't understand that his labor pool was very limited. I countered with the fact that we went 3 blocks north, were waited on by the same demographic - Servers ages 21 to 33 and had the opposite experience. His answer was that the other restaurant had been in business since 1958. (I'm still scratching my head at that one.)
The service your employees provide is a direct reflection of you and your values. If you will hire "just anybody," then you are going to get what you deserve.
If you hire people based on their intelligence, their communication skills and their ability to think on their feet, well, your chances of success greatly improve.
Sometimes, like my local restaurant you have to "clean house." In today's society we shudder at the notion.
YOU decide. Ask yourself which business will be there a year from now. Which business will prosper and which will fail? Ask yourself if the momentary discomfort of cleaning house is worth your businesses success.
Let me know, okay?