Opinion: “Get real, Operators: Consistently good service just a myth” (Feb.2006)

excerpt:

"Let's get real. While we all know that service is relative, there is no such thing as good, consistent service. It does not exist. I know that there are those who immediately will dismiss my comment or become indignant because I have never seen their operation, but I stand by the statement unequivocally…

Food, while it isn't easy, is easier to control than service….We do taste tests, product checks, line checks, temperature checks, and who knows what else. Food can be controlled.

Service cannot. No screen process, hiring process, personality evaluation, reference, or training program can adequately keep on top of every front-of-the-house person as is necessary.

The past 10 years have seen a staggering decline in the quality of employee in the workplace and turnaround isn't happening anytime soon. The challenge is to recognize the problem and do our best to counteract it. What we have done so far isn't working."

link: "Get real, operators: Consistently good service just a myth" by Joe Nuckolls (Nation's Restaurant News Magazine, Feb. 13, 2006) (fee-required)

WaiterBell Angle: The WaiterBell system helps address this restaurant issue. In combination with waitstaff training, good management, and active solicitation of customer feedback, the WaiterBell system helps ensure more consistent good service by empowering the customers to discreetly assist in preventing potential service gaps.

Here is an example without WaiterBell:

1. Customer realizes that they now wish to have some tabasco sauce for their meal. [At this point, there is a customer need, and the clock begins ticking. Potential service gap.]

2. Customer looks around for help. Sees multiple servers, but not their own, or are unable to make eye contact with their server. [The clock continues ticking, the customer begins to feel frustrated. Service gap has occurred. The consequences of the service gap will be determined by the amount of time to receive service and the customer. Note: The manager and server may never be aware of the consequences or that a service gap has occurred]

Here is an example with WaiterBell:

1. Customer realizes that they now wish to have some tabasco sauce for their meal. [At this point, there is a customer need, and the clock begins ticking. Potential service gap.]

2. Customer presses WaiterBell. Someone from the waitstaff (either their server or a supporting team member) sees the table number on the WaiterBell display and attends to the customer's need. [Potential service gap prevented.]

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