All too often I speak with colleagues in the restaurant or retail business baffled by the loss of customer base. For the life of them they cannot figure it out. They add product, change advertising methods, and make numerous updates to get customers in the door, but the real problem is they can’t keep them—no return interest.
They either refuse to notice or they simply don’t see that the problem is closer than they think. Truth is that it is often their greatest investment—the staff. While lack of training is the first thought that comes to mind, you will find there is another staffing issue that customers find offensive and reproachable. So what is it? Arrogant behavior, too superior to serve, expressed with a haughty facial expression and lack of attentiveness. Read more of this >>
I read a quote recently by John Maxwell, he says “You can measure a leader by the problems he tackles. He always looks for ones his own size.” Well, I should begin by informing those who don’t know me personally that I am 6’8”. Yes, I tend to hit my head often, and in case you’re wondering, the weather is fine up here. Although the quote may lead some to ponder the obvious, given a recent incident I encountered, I looked at it a little differently. Instead of thinking about the biggest external issues I face, I forced myself to look at the biggest internal issues I face. Not anyone’s favorite topic to think about.
It has been said that we are our own worst enemies. It has also been said that we are our own worst critics. I can say both of these things about myself. We all battle character flaws which prompt us to find some sort of handicap to help mask or shine the light away from them. These could be traits we are aware or unaware of; pride, jealousy, fear, inadequacy, the way we react to stress, or even anger can top this list. Read more of this >>
I am glad our fellow trade bloggers are sharing their own experiences about leadership qualities, lax service issues, and trying to resolve ongoing unprofessional ineptitude.
This type of intramural communications volley permits us all to recognize these issues are constant reminders of (most likely) a lax management culture. Guess where all fingers are pointing.
Correct this apathy: business sustainability can only occur when professional standards are demanded. I don’t hesitate to submit constructive complaints on tabletop “comment cards” (for management). Question: do these cards really get to the correct decision-maker, especially when it’s usually the culprit server receiving the cards, and these go straight to the circular file in quick time? Read more of this >>
How are your hotel F&B operations measuring up to your competitors’ newly designed (or retrofitted) restaurant? How is your chef monitoring the quality of the meals served? Do your staff have the appropriate training for upselling new products? Do you utilize social media to monitor complaints and provide a quick response time to improve your PR issues?
Too many questions on your plate? Too many cooks in the kitchen? Where’s management when you need them?
Suggest you seek a competent professional hotel and restaurant advisory group with relevant credentials in your region. They will serve your specific needs to improve your operations with an unbiased opinion. These advisers are trained in the hospitality field and recognize many symptomatic issues where failures may occur if intervention does not take place. Read more of this >>
I ran across a quote the other day that I wanted to share with everyone.
John Quincy Adams, our 6th US President said:
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”
As leaders, it is our sacred responsibility to lift others to success. Throughout my career I have learned many principles that are keys toward accomplishing this. At the top of the list is that you work with great leaders, not for great leaders. Great leaders make you feel as though you are as an important part of the process as they are. They challenge you to push your limits and to become the very best you can be. They have a way of giving the credit to others which in turn shines a brighter light upon themselves through the respect they gain from those who report to them.
I challenge each of you to be a mentor this year. Identify everyday ways that you can build the knowledge, skill, and passion of your teams. Remember that these things do not come about on their own, they must be instilled and encouraged by no one other than ourselves.
Find out their dreams and show them how to make them a reality.
Force yourselves to learn more so you can teach more.
Do more with them, and you will become more to them.
You are a leader.
I am not the most enjoyable person to have dinner with. My wife will attest to this. Why? It’s not my lack of charm or interesting conversation (at least no one will admit to that). I don’t chew with my mouth open, nor do I lack any other social skills that would bring embarrassment. My issue is that I’m one of the worst critics out there. I’ve been in this business for so long that I am hypersensitive to the most obscure details. I have high expectations, and when they are not met I feel like I have been let down and cheated. Like it or not, it’s engrained in me, and each missed detail of my experience sticks out like an Eggs Benedict without the hollandaise. Read more of this >>
I have a relative in her eighties. We had a chance to talk for an hour the other day. She was totally amazed by some of my restaurant stories and I with her’s.
• She had never operated a business
• She had never hired or fired anyone
• She never had to make a bottom or top line shine
• She never crawled under an ice machine
• She never unplugged a public toilet
• College was her fifth option
• She had never stopped a bar fight
• “86’d” was never in her vocabulary
• “You-bet-your-boots” has never been in my vocabulary
• I have never gone to night school while working full-time
• I have never served as a nurse
• I have never raised livestock nor brought it to market
• I have never shot a coyote
• I didn’t have to continue anything after my husband died
• My children have not all graduated from college
• My house is not completely paid for
In my job, I have met thousands, upon thousands of people, and maybe 15 would come to my funeral. Read more of this >>
Recently, I was dining at a well known fish house and had a “service moment” like I had never experienced before. The quality and tone of the service was borderline indifferent, and each member of the staff seemed to be laboring under a dark cloud of discontent, as if they were all participants in a sort of global bad day festival. There was very thinly veiled back-biting and sniping going on; angry retorts to one another within earshot of the handful of Sunday mid-afternoon guests. Intermittently, our server seemed to disappear for several minutes at a time even though only a few tables were occupied. When she appeared again, she’d realize that the manager had refilled our drinks or cleared some plates and she would offer some explanation about the cause of her delay, often implying that others had dropped the ball.
The “service moment” that really struck me though came towards the end of the meal when, as my guest and I were just finishing our entrees, someone moved past our table in a blur and, without a word, tossed a dessert menu onto the table as they continued on their way. I was astounded at the overtness of the indifference but, unfortunately, what I find more and more in my service experiences these days is that indifferent or poor are often the norm and just-barely-adequate is becoming almost sought after. Read more of this >>