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Your painting needs some salt.

September 8, 2012

ImageWe’ve heard the cliché a million times. “The customer is always right.”

If anyone wants to give that statement a good eye-roll, now is the time to do it.

Some of them are just downright nutty aren’t they?

I once had a customer bring their own fish into the restaurant wrapped in butcher’s paper. The fish was freshly caught and whole…scales and all. He asked his waiter to bring it to the Chef to have him prepare and serve it to him for dinner.

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Bon Anniversaire!

August 15, 2012

ImageJust a fair warning before we get started.

This blog post will be a detour from the usual around here. This post won’t talk about market conditions or the importance of continuous staff training. This post won’t make one MENTION of how important food cost is. We won’t even touch on subjects like how important it is that you choose a social media platform and REALLY work at giving your restaurant a presence online. And one other thing we won’t talk about is how dangerous couponing can be for your restaurant! (Checked Groupon’s stock lately? Don’t say I didn’t tell you so!) We can save all that for another day.


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How 10 minutes a day could save your restaurant

May 28, 2012

ImageI hate meetings.  Well, it’s not that I really hate ALL meetings, just most meetings that I happen to be AT.  This day and age, I just think that there are much more efficient ways to communicate information than requiring everyone to sit in a room for an hour…or longer.

Most meetings are a complete waste of time.  There is however, one meeting that could save your restaurant.


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Have some clowns on your staff? You might just suck at hiring….

March 20, 2012

We’ve all said it at one point or another.   “Good people are just so hard to find!” 

I recently spoke with a frustrated operator who said, “My employees are ALL idiots!  They can’t do ANYTHING right!!!  Why can’t I find any good people anymore?  What am I supposed to do? ” 

My response was obvious, “So stop hiring idiots.”

The fact of the matter is, there ARE plenty of good people out there.  Most restaurants just suck at hiring. 

In a nutshell, as operators we need to take responsibility for the quality of our team.  When we end up with “bad apples” on the team we need to realize that this is OUR fault! 

Once we realize that we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves, we should focus our time on building a process and a philosophy to ensure that bad apples no longer end up on our teams. Read more…

Who gets pissed about pork and beans!?

August 31, 2011
Photo: Aranami, Flickr

Photo: Aranami, Flickr

People who had no idea there was pork… actually IN their beans
That’s who.
Recently I spoke at an event sponsored by the local restaurant association in my area.  This particular event focused on social media and how important it is for restaurant owners to accept it, learn it and integrate it into the everyday marketing of their restaurants.  As a former operator, I have seen the marketing landscape change drastically over the past five years.  The biggest change that I have seen is the shift in power from the operator to the customer.  As social media now allows customers to broadcast their opinion about your restaurant to millions of people (in a matter of seconds), operators are now held accountable for delivering a quality dining experience.   As on popular San Diego based “yelper” states in her public profile, “Piss me off and I will yelp you out of business.” 
She’s what you would call a “tough customer”. 

What’s your pickle policy?

August 9, 2011

While flying on Southwest Airlines to Chicago this morning, I happened to pull out the in-flight magazine that was stuffed into the back of the seat in front of me. Inside was an article written by Southwest President Gary Kelly titled “A Few Thoughts About Customer Service”. As Southwest is celebrating 40years in flight this year, Kelly writes that while many things have changed in the past 40 years, one thing hasn’t - the company’s customer service policy.  Southwest’s “policy” is for the employees to always “serve by heart”.  To do what’s right. Read more…

“OK. First things first” – people might hate your restaurant

July 22, 2011

The things some people say…

Sometimes you just have to laugh.  Let’s just take a minute and share a laugh at the expense of our customer’s reviews of our restaurants. 

“Ha – ha.”  Okay, now stop.  This is serious business we’re talking about here.

We all have opinions and we all like to let others know about our dining experiences.  Today, thanks to social media, a customer can finish his or her meal and leave a review about it online before they even get home that evening.  Those reviews are read by thousands of people when they decide at which restaurant they want to dine. Read more…

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