Every restaurant owner, manager and staff person, front or back of house, should take this lesson to heart.

I admit it.  I’m very biased about service.  But the truth is, if you’re in this business, you should be too.

Long ago I learned that Hospitality is Absent when something happens “TO” You and Hospitality is Present when something happens “FOR” you.  Unfortunately, exemplary service is the exception and not the rule and some time ago that basic concept of Hospitality has all but disappeared and I frequently ask “What happened to the Service in a Service business”?   Every restaurant owner, manager and staff person, front or back of house, should take this lesson to heart.

Listen to my latest episode as I detail (in this business of 1000 details), how a true “Team Approach” to service knocked my socks off, made my entire travel experience to this fair city and will long into the future remind me of the real definition of Hospitality.

Roger Beaudoin - The Restaurant Rockstars Podcast

My hope is that one listener and one restaurant at a time in this huge industry change their approach to service, taking valuable and actionable lessons from Jimm’s Steakhouse in Springfield, MO.  

Their customers, their suppliers and the industry as a whole will only stand to benefit.

As a thank you for listening to the podcast, grab my free gift at this link

Now go out there and Rock Your Restaurant!

Roger

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EPISODE #88 TRANSCRIPTION


[Start of Transcript]
You're tuned in to the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast. Powerful ideas to rock your restaurant, here's your host, Roger Beaudoin.
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Welcome back Rockstars! How would you define hospitality? Is it a warm greeting? A delicious dish prepared the way it was ordered? A Cocktails garnished correctly? Given a new fork after the salad course? Being thanked at the end of the meal? It's all these things, but this is just the beginning, the foundational basics and there're truly are so many more fine details. 
Hospitality and service are an art form, something to constantly be practiced yet never mastered, learning and delivering exemplary service begins with this Podcast. It's my hope that this one episode can transform the service in your restaurant; one staff person at a time with a new approach to hospitality, regardless of your price point, this level of service is one to strive for. Do yourself and your operation a service, play this episode for your entire team front and back of house, now on to the Podcast.
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When I receive exemplary service in a restaurant, it's not only unexpected but absolutely astounding, I frequently talk about my travels around the country and to quickly reiterate and it really doesn't matter what city I'm in, nine times out of ten I get what I call the order taker, that is, they take the order, deliver the food and bring the cheque. 
Now in my book, that's an ordinary experience and no matter how great the food might be, I won't return to that restaurant. Now that's just the service part of the equation those restaurants are missing, never mind the significant potential sales that could have resulted with a different approach, a hospitality approach. 
I learned a long time ago that hospitality is absent when something happens to you and hospitality is present when something happens for you. See the difference? You soon will. And so it was recently on a trip to Springfield Missouri, much by chance I stumbled across a place called 'Jimm's Steak House'. Here I was quite surprised to find rare exemplary service like you might expect in Europe, where hospitality is a career, unlike in America, where in many cases working in a restaurant is just a stop on the way to someplace else and training sometimes reflects this more often than not. 
My dining experience began with two friendly hosts on the podium who welcomed me in and asked if I would prefer a table, a booth or a seat in the lounge. I asked if I might see the different choices, "Of course" was the instant reply and after viewing my options, I selected a comfortable booth. 
I was seated no more than a few seconds when another team member came to fill my water glass and informed that my server would be Eric and that he would be right with me. Sure enough before a minute had passed, Eric welcomed me again and introduced himself by name. My cell phone had died and I did not see an outlet beneath my booth, I had actually brought my own charger into the restaurant, Eric asked if he could assist and that he would be sure to return my phone as soon as it was charged. The thousands of little details in a restaurant matter and this was not lost on Eric, who also had many other tables in the room to serve. 
Next we discussed the wine list, this is a steakhouse after all and I was in the mood for wine, Eric asked my preference for red or white and then proceeded to make a few recommendations, in an instant he returned with several bottles and explained that he would pour me a taste of any to help me make my selection. Again this was unexpected.
The wine was poured and I was really anticipating what would happen next, the menu was extensive with much of a variety and although several items caught my eye, I always appreciate the suggestion, Eric offered several explaining the nuances and preparations of each including a nightly off the menu special. He further explained that I had three solid choices, I could select the salad bar and create my own salad or choose a blue cheese, wedge or signature house salad. 
After deciding in the blue cheese wedge which in my opinion is the perfect prelude to steak, Eric quickly brought me a steaming loaf of warm homemade honey wheat bread on a cutting board with a bread knife. I was hungry and the bread was thoroughly enjoyable, before I could take a breath, another third member re-filled my water glass and brought me another loaf without me having requesting it.
This is what I call a choreographed team approach to service, where the customer truly feels recognized, acknowledged and served. And believe me, when I say this is truly rare in this business, regardless of the price point, I had selected the New York strip steak with baked potato and Eric asked if I would prefer an addition of Burgundy wine mushrooms which really add to the flavor profiles of the steak. I did, he asked if I would prefer my baked potato steaming hot with butter or with everything which he explained were child baking bits, shredded cheese and sour cream, that was an easy selection. 
I thoroughly enjoyed my salad, the lettuce was crisp and the dressing not overdone, but bountiful in blue cheese chunks. Eric was armed with this pepper mill and asked if I would prefer fresh cracked pepper again, I rarely experience even this detail in restaurants any longer, in most other places, I continually ask myself what happened to service in a service business? 
Now here's the kicker, as my steak arrived, Eric asked me to please cut the center for him so he was sure that the New York strip was expertly prepared to the correct temperature I had ordered. I can't recall this ever happening in any restaurant over my long career. Again, he had many other tables to serve, but he missed no detail from my experience and I am certain he provided the same exemplary service to all his other guests that evening. Remember the definition of hospitality I spoke of earlier? 
Now on to dessert, the list was extensive and each sounded tantalizing but I'm a big fan of cheesecake and so I placed my order. Eric informed that the New York cheese cake was available in traditional style or capped with fresh strawberry compote. This choice was also easy to make, through each stage of the meal, Eric brought the food to life so I could visualize and taste each choice in my mind before it came out of the kitchen, again a rare skill and high level of personal service. As Eric set the Cheesecake before me, he also returned my phone fully charged. 
This service went above and beyond any expectation I had for dinner this particular evening. I had flown in that day, was tired and hungry and was looking forward to simply checking into my hotel. 
Eric was unaware of my special needs yet intuitively took a personal approach to making my experience and again I'm sure all his guests, special and memorable. How welcoming, relaxing and serving this entire experience was and how I hope my listeners take a quick lesson in true hospitality from Eric at Jimm's Steakhouse. 
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Thanks for listening to The Restaurant's Rockstars Podcast. For lots of great resources, head over to restaurantrockstars.com and while you're there, download a copy of the book, 'Rock Your Restaurant' it's a game changer, See you next time!
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