I stumbled across the following sub-head in a Reno Gazette Journal article yesterday:
“Food, service leave a lot to be desired at upstart eatery.”
If I were the owner of this restaurant, I’d feel like I’d just taken a direct hit from a cannon ball. Besides ambiance, what else is there in a restaurant besides the food and service?
Some friends opened a new restaurant in San Jose, California, and had similar comments in a review of their restaurant. I felt so bad for them as I knew they worked extremely hard on the menu, suffered months of unanticipated and costly delays in opening due to the permitting processes, etc. The reviewer felt that the chef had toned things down to the point of ruining the authenticity of the ethnic food they were offering. And, to add to the misery, the reviewer commented that the service in this fine dining establishment missed the mark as well. How sad. All their hard work was being undermined by their business execution.
The restaurant business is challenging enough in this economy even with superior business execution. Mediocrity or even a lower standard of execution is going to cause certain demise of these restaurants unless they can improve their execution quickly.
Poor business execution undermines businesses of all types, not just restaurants. I encourage business owners to find out what it is like to do business with their own company from the point of view of customers. What kind of experiences is your business creating across all aspects of your business, from sales to service? Find out and correct deficiencies.
Complaints should be treasured as they give you the insights you need to take your business to the next level. If you treat customers with indifference (and, sadly, roughly 70% of customers feel they are treated with complete indifference), you are putting the economic health of your business at risk. If you fail to meet the most modest of expectations, you are putting the economic health of your business at risk.
At a minimum, I expect good service and good food served at an appropriate temperature. I really want great service and great food consistent with the restaurant I’m dining at. What customers want is a great experience, the kind of experience that makes them want to come back again and again and to tell their friends about it.
Are you aware of how well your company is doing meeting customer expectations? Are you thinking that business is off merely due to economic pressures or could it be something else–your firm is failing to meet even the most modest expectations of your customers?
Business execution is not about doing one thing well and the other things poorly–it is the sum of all the customer touch points that makes customers want to come back again and again.
Dave Gardner http://www.gardnerandassoc.com