Is It Really What You Think?

Sometimes we get tied up with life, and sometimes we get tied up with work, but when at work; is everyone paying attention?  During a recent discussion with another operator, I posed some questions that I have found the results to be “interesting” to in the past regarding service and overall metrics.

A quick side-note here is that as operators, the numbers are everything to us; yet it’s always healthy to question the numbers every once in a while.  Some major airlines record “take-off” as the time that the blocks under the wheels are removed, not reflecting the true “take-off” time to those reviewing the data.

If you think that’s unrelated, then answer these questions, and then ask your managers and operators the same questions and see if the answers match.  My bet is that they won’t.

  • Are beverages considered a menu item in reporting ‘cover counts’?
  • Is every negative comment card or email that is submitted received and followed up on?
  • Does every server follow the steps of service and upsell when appropriate?
  • Do bartenders know the menu as well as the servers?
  • Do all of the cooks prepare the dishes consistently following approved standards? 
  • How long do walk-in guests wait on a busy night?

There are many examples where Synergy is on-site performing property evaluations, and we are meeting with an owner who has one perception of their product and services, which it is not always in sync with their metrics when reviewed with us.

The morale to the story is that reality needs to be validated, or it’s no longer reality, it’s a perception or a memory.  I will never forget a visit to a location where the owner was talking up his new cocktail menu on the drive from the airport, and when we got to the store, the manager at that location had not even been notified of the month old promotion.

As 2009 slowly comes to a close, take some time at your next operational meeting to shake the tree a little, and see what may be loose.  Check your training practices, your customer service interactions and communication practices, and some of the other things that you never question for accuracy, and maybe you too will find a store without your new cocktail menu.

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