We all dine out from time to time and I’m willing to bet that your experiences vary from restaurant to restaurant. 

I’m also betting that you critique each experience.  If you’re in the business, its only natural.  What are they doing right… what would I do different?

Well, I may be a bit biased, because I always put a premium on regular and intensive staff training in my restaurants.  Its a point of pride, to have each and every staffer deliver amazing dining experiences AND make friends every night for your restaurant.  Is there any other way?

I’m so often amazed that not every operator shares this philosophy and even if they do, sometimes the restaurant is running them and not the other way around.  

Give a listen to this episode.  Yikes, unfortunately, Its a true story that we can all learn from, but mostly its about what should never happen in your operation.  It won’t if you put a premium on training and service also.

Now go out there and Rock Your Restaurant.

Roger

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EPISODE #96 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.

You know RockStars; I've always believed that the three most important attributes of any successful restaurant are Food, Service and Ambiance. I know that your customers expect the food to be good and the atmosphere to be interesting and comfortable. But I believe that service is the most important detail in your restaurant, it has a huge impact on your sales, repeat business, and just as important, your online reviews.

So, I'm too often surprised by the service provided in some restaurants I visit no matter where I happen to be travelling, it does happen.

Today's episode is a dining experience I had once that may seem too crazy to believe but in all honesty and unfortunately for that restaurant, it is a true story. Give a listen and as food for thought, don't let this happen in your restaurant.

It was Saturday night and the place looked busy, so I thought it must be a good restaurant. I walked in and there was an obstacle course to get to the host counter; people were all waiting for tables I asked, “How long it would be for a party of four?” “About an hour” the host said before walking away without taking our name we decided to get a drink at the bar, so we fought our way through the crowd. The bartender saw me but kept pouring drinks.

After 5 minutes, I had to flag him down and say, “Can we get some drinks here?” He finally came over, “What do you have for wines by the glass” he asked we don't pour much wine I'm not sure there's a drink list over there. I had to walk over to get the wine list and when I returned to the bar the bartender had moved on to someone else. I had to get his attention again after finally getting drinks, we waited and waited for our table I noticed a party of four who came in after us were seated first I complained to the hostess and she said, “Did you come in before them? Oh sorry!” We waited far longer than an hour and I asked the hostess when we would be seated? Can't see you yet, don't have any tables.

I looked into the dining room and saw four open tables all un-cleared with no bus or insight. Finally, we were brought to a dirty table covered with water that someone had spilled and there was ketchup on the floor next to the table.

A Manager walked by carrying a tray of food and I asked if someone could clean our table, “We’ll get to it she said” A server came over and said, “What can I get you to drink?” She brought menus, put them down and left. She came back and said, “Ready to order?” There was a special board on the wall but we couldn't read it, so we asked her there on the board over there.

I ordered the chicken then my friends ordered burgers of course we waited and waited for the food to arrive and when it finally did, one of the burgers was burnt, so we sent it back. I asked for water which never came. It took quite a while to get the re-cook burger; we were tired and hungry so we waited, ate our meals and asked for the cheque.

Our server finally came back and said, “Does anyone want dessert?” We asked, “What is Dessert?” I'll go get you the list, “Forget it, just bring the cheque” They never took the burnt burger off the cheque and charged us for the re-cook. Another delay as The Manager had to be found to gum the slip as we passed the gum snapping hostess she said, “Thanks, come again” “NO Thx”

Again, this was one crazy night I know but these things happen in restaurants with far too much frequency. Sometimes we're short staffed or we get an unexpected rush on a typically slower night, maybe we have new inexperienced staff that we're just training, maybe the new menu has the kitchen crew scrambling to keep up. Whatever the reason remember, restaurants are the business of a thousand details.

It's also all about entertainment and consistency; it takes regular effective training both at the front of house and back of house to put on a seamless performance that your customers will talk about and want to experience again and again.

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!

[End of Transcript]