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With all the talk about the economy and how to battle it by lowering costs and the next big marketing campaign, I think we have been losing sight at what we all can do that will put long term sales on the top line and increased profits on the bottom line. And best of all it cost nothing, but a little time and awareness on your part.
The smart operators are focused on the people. I am not talking about the people that eat in your restaurant, although they are important too. I am talking about the people who take care of those diners, your staff. What you do, or do not do for your staff makes a bigger impact to your bottom line than any cost saving measure or even the best marketing program. Why is this? It is simple, if the people that are truly responsible for taking care of your guests are not taken care of themselves, it will not matter how many guests you bring in with that cutting edge, creative marketing idea. The face of your restaurant, your reputation, everything that you stand for is in the hands of the people that have the most direct and constant contact with your guests. I am not just talking about your servers, hosts, and cashiers but your cooks, bussers, and dishwashers as well. Everyone that works in your restaurant has some kind of contact point with your guest, whether it is directly or indirectly. How you treat them, or mistreat them, will ALWAYS be passed on to the guest. Your staff needs to feel important if you want them to treat the guest that way. And in times like these, that is all that matters.
What are you doing to make your staff feel important?
Have you instilled such a rigid procedure for interacting with guests that your staff doesn’t think for themselves?
I went to a new hair cut place that opened today by my home. There was a small wait since they just opened and when the person asked for my name, she asked, “Have you ever been here before?” How could have I been here before if today was their opening day? Why do we push our staff to follow such a rigid outline when interacting with our guests? Why not give them the parameters you want accomplished and allow your staff to think and be themselves? I can already hear the critics, but for hospitality to be real it needs to be genuine and sincere. In other words, your staff actually has to care about what they are doing. Do you think someone who is required to follow a rigid set of steps each and every time they talk to a guest will be engaged in their job and actually care?
It is time to Think Different!