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I have worked for many different people in my time but one of my first mentors was a very successful restaurant owner. I was relating this story the other day in a workshop of a staff meeting he led where he was talking about missed opportunities we had as waiters and I thought it is appropriate for our industry.
“What I have provided for each of you is an opportunity to run your own business here. You need to look at your job this way. I have invested in all of the things we need to run the restaurant. I have given you each tables with which you can run your own business. Now you can do the minimum, ask the customer what they want and deliver it in a most basic way for which you will receive basic tips or compensation. But you could take that same number of people and lead them through the experience. Using the training we have given you offer them appetizers; explain the menu in a way that gets the customer seeing the food in their head, explain what wine works best so they will order a bottle and then get them to close out the meal with a dessert or after dinner drinks. Then you will have larger checks, thus larger compensation from the same number of people.
My question to each of you is, what kind of business do you want to run?”
I can see If these words came from an owner to their sales and service staff, it could have the same meaning.
Each of us every day should ask ourselves if we are looking at what we do as running our own business and following our processes in order to deliver the customer experience the company is offering – or if we doing it our own way.
Funny how something so simple at the time, over 20 years ago, will impact you long term. I have never forgotten this meeting and continue to pass it's wisdom on during all of my training workshops.
Let me know your thoughts.