Have you ever been to a restaurant where you got really good service? It’s always so awesome when you experience that. But what about a restaurant that had really good food, but horrible service? We just experienced that…
I know you’re probably thinking, "Who cares if you just had a bad experience at a restaurant?! Why does that matter to me?" Just hold on a minute! You’ve GOT to keep reading, because what I’m about to share with you totally applies to your work life and your home life. There is a very powerful piece of wisdom in the story I’m about to tell you.
So it was right after the last First Steps to Success. Traditionally, after this mom has been speaking for 3 days and 2 nights, I don’t cook on my first day back, and neither do the kids, because they worked the whole weekend as well. So we went out to dinner that night. The kids voted on this little Italian restaurant in town that is run by a Sicilian guy. He ships in all of his sausage and cheeses from Sicily, and it’s all really good food. Mmmm, the calzone! I love a good calzone! The ricotta cheese, fresh sausage, fresh mozzarella, fresh dough… MAN, I wish you could taste it right now… But back to the story…
What this guy has done is really sad. It’s great food and the restaurant is in a great location, on the main street in our town. But he has never done anything to improve the building. The atmosphere of this restaurant is kinda like one of those old diners with paneled walls, cruddy blinds, and vinyl red and white checkered tablecloths. He has excellent food, but he has not created an environment for his patrons to enjoy and to relax and really experience this great Italian food.
What does this have to do with you? You’ve really got to look at your home or office and look at the kind of environment you have created, because your environment determines so much. It really determines the value that is perceived out in the marketplace.
See, if this guy chose a different building, or if he just fixed up the building he’s in now… If he just decorated his restaurant and made it look nice, the whole experience would have been just that much better!
But that’s not even the biggest thing. Let me tell you about his staff…
So we sat down at this restaurant, and the waitress never once made eye contact with us. She stood at one corner of the table where Hans and myself, as well as our 3 boys and a couple extras were sitting. She literally tossed the silverware (wrapped in a napkin) down the table to each of us. This is total laziness, by the way! She said, "Hey everybody, what can I get you to drink?" She was totally rushed the whole time.
When she came to take our order, she stood at one corner of the table and said, "Next order please… Next order please…" as we each gave our order. She didn’t come to each of us and make eye contact and say, "What can I get you today?" No, she stood at the end of the table, never even looking up at us, saying, "Next order please…" I felt like we were at McDonalds! That’s what you’d expect there. If I wanted to be treated like just another number, I would have gone to McDonalds.
Her lack of people skills created an environment that really caused me to not want to go back to this restaurant. It had actually been a year since my last visit. Sure, the food is excellent, but the quality of the service is just terrible!
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If this guy had invested into fixing the place up and making the quality of the atmosphere match the quality of his food, he would be doing so much better than he is right now. But even more importantly, he needs to train his staff to honor every customer that comes through the door. He needs to train his staff to make eye contact and to really serve people instead of treating people like they’re at Denny’s or McDonalds. He needs to train his staff to create an environment that makes people want to come back there. Because only then will he attract customers for life!
I’m sure this guy is probably blaming the economy for his lack of customers, but in all reality, he is not taking ownership of his restaurant, and he is not training his staff. So he ends up with the bottom of the barrel type of employee, working in a bottom of the barrel type of restaurant. Therefore, he will never make the kind of money that I’m sure he desires to make.
So make sure you train up your staff with excellent people skills and excellent service skills. Make sure they smile at your customers and make eye contact. Make sure they create an environment that makes your customers want to come back again. And for goodness sake, do not let them throw silverware across the table! Give me a break!
How does this apply in your home, in your workplace, in your business? I’m sure you can find a way! How are you serving the people in your home? How are you training up your kids to serve each other in your home? How are you serving the people in your office? What is your personal environment around your desk right now? What is your personal appearance like when you go to work? Are you clean-shaven? Sharply dressed? Ladies, is your hair in a messy bun? How you present yourself affects your environment big time. So what kind of value are you projecting everywhere you go?
Listen, you and I both know that we are in a failing economy. You and I both know that people are suffering right now. And what are they doing? Probably the same thing this restaurant owner is doing – "Oh, the economy is so bad! That’s why my business isn’t doing well!" It’s time for a lot of people to look in the mirror! So go ahead and spread this message!
Could you imagine if we continued to spread this message and people really learned how to serve their customers, succeed in their jobs, succeed in their businesses? We will be the ones who will change this economy! People like you and me who are spreading this message together. We can’t wait for somebody else from the top to do this. It’s gotta be we the people!
So share this post with your friends, family, co-workers, and business partners. Somebody you know is going to read this message and make changes that will make a huge impact in their lives and those around them. And it will all be because you shared this with them. And please also share this on Facebook and Twitter. You may even want to print it out and pass it around your office today, or read it at the dinner table with your family tonight.
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Thank you for being part of our incredible community. God bless you and I’ll talk to you tomorrow!
In great faith,