Monday, September 2, 2013

Second Chances

Interesting that second chances are rarely obtainable in life and also in the restaurant business. First impression are so sacred and should be dealt with in a responsible way.
Recently my wife and myself stopped by a potential clients business, my wife is always hesitant about going in with me and trying a restaurant that she knows is under my scrutiny. As I suggested that she accompany me she was resistant as we sat in the car in front of the business, I coaxed her to come in as an artist she has a keen eye and can quickly determine what's wrong. As we walked in she had a look on her face that she wasn't really on board of going in and just trying this businesses food. Once we entered the business I immediately noticed the this place was in crisis mode, the floors were not clean, the windows were not clean, the counter are was disheveled and not organized. There were no menus available to review and the specials looked as if someone had just did them to have something on special, simply put they were just going through the motions of operating a business without taking into consideration of the customers perspective. And as a result my wife decided that she will never eat there or visit again. How many times a week does this happen in this business? 
The atmosphere, staff behavior, appeal, food quality, cleanliness and general first impressions typically reflect the quality of ownership or management for the restaurant. The restaurant business is a breeding ground for the unexpected such as incomplete deliveries, staff no-shows, cash crunches, unruly guests, equipment failures and the list goes on. All too often owners and managers take on the reactive role of a fireman putting out fires and are unable to - or become oblivious to -their guests' impression of their restaurant. The stain on the ceiling tile becomes increasingly bigger, the onion rings lose some of their crispiness and their staff gradually becomes apathetic to customer service.
Proactive operators are able to spend less time fighting fires and more time creating positive impressions by implementing systems and controls to keep their restaurant running smoothly, clean and in good repair. To minimize the unexpected, they place heavy emphasis on staff training, have a "Steps of Service" policy to insure adherence to service standards and use quality control and readiness checklists daily.
When the restaurant is running like a well-oiled machine, managers and owners have more time to focus on seeing their restaurant through their customer's eyes - and then make adjustments accordingly. Lighting and music are always at the perfect level; if a table is dirty it gets bussed; when something breaks it gets fixed; and when a guest walks in they are warmly greeted.By making a great first impression, you increase your chances for an opportunity to make a customer,

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