The Hamptons © 2004 Matthew Trump (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In a series of articles in You’re the Boss, Bruce Buschel talks about his more than two-year adventure attempting to open and run a restaurant, Southfork Kitchen in the Hamptons in Long Island. It is wonderfully well written, and should be read by any small business owner, present or anticipated.
Among the gems are his list titled, “100 Things restaurant staffers should never do.” As his introduction to the list puts it, “Veteran waiters, moonlighting actresses, libertarians and baristas will no doubt protest some or most of what follows. They will claim it homogenizes them or stifles their true nature. And yet, if 100 different actors play Hamlet, hitting all the same marks, reciting all the same lines, cannot each one bring something unique to that role?”
Here are some examples:
- If there is a service charge, alert your guests when you present the bill. It’s not a secret or a trick.
- Do not ask if a guest needs change. Just bring the change.
- Do not hustle the lobsters. That is, do not say, “We only have two lobsters left.” Even if there are only two lobsters left.
- Specials, spoken and printed, should always have prices.
- Never say “I don’t know” to any question without following with, “I’ll find out.”
- Never refuse to seat three guests because a fourth has not yet arrived.
How much more would we appreciate a restaurant that did these simple, obvious, customer-first things? Yet how few can we think of?
But you don’t have to be a restaurant operator to make your own list. Just catalog everything you do that affects your customers, and then decide which ones are not for your benefit, but for theirs. You may not end up with 100 things, but you will end up with more loyal customers.
Got the idea?