Before you read the post below you need to understand that I myself, my family and many friends have been blessed by the liberal tipping policies of North America and would not be living the lives we do with out it!
The post below is an Essay to start off the book I am working on “No Tipping Required” (working title, also considering Serve and Grow Rich)
The book will be a parable of two middle-aged entrepreneurs who delve into the world of Restaurateurs and learn you (the reader) some lessons that I wish I could share with every restaurant owner.
And this is how it STARTS!
Introduction: No Tipping Required!
Owning and running a restaurant in North America is a BAD investment! It is fun, a daily adventure, extremely challenging if that is what you’re looking for, but if do not pre-plan your culinary venture you will not be smelling roses.
For someone who is passionate about cooking, it is the best forum to showcase their work, for someone looking for a change it is a completely different kind of business and different kind of work.
Every day there is a new challenge to overcome, and new problem to solve, a new adventure, new experience, and the best thing is every day you have a victory, you solve the problems, vanquish the challenges, and if your luck, make a small profit.
This is the kind of business, the kind of job you can get lost in. It’s the family business where the whole family can and does get involved. Restauranteering is an EXTREAMLY rewarding career but as a business you need to know one thing…
…YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL.
Seriously, you can walk into the business you financed, build, inherited, worked your way up, or got hired to run and you are not the boss. Sure you have the title, you own the place or are in position to be considered the boss, but you’re not. You have staff, plenty of staff but they don’t work for you. Think about it; if you were in a law office, government department, or big business office could you imagine employees carrying on like yours do? Talking to their superiors the way they speak to, or about you? NO! of course not.
Then why do they in the restaurant business? Why do most restaurant owners or managers end up becoming “A” type personalities in order to cope?
Your staff does NOT work for you!
According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (4th Edition)
An Employee is: A Person who works for another in return for financial or other compensation.
Still doubt me? Ask yourself these questions.
“Who pays your servers, waiters, and bartenders the most amount of money on a daily basis?”
“Who tips out (Bribes) your Host, hostesses, maître’de to ensure they get the best quality customer?”
“Who tips out (Bribes) the cooks, chefs, expediters to get the fastest or highest priority food service?”
Now think about it for a moment and tell me “Who does your staff REALLY work for?”
Yes, the customer!
Now, I know you think in a customer service industry, “is that not the way it should be?” but there is a difference between Customer Service and Customer Obedience.
Every service related industry and establishment wants to deliver the BEST most OUTSTANDING customer service experience that sends your guests frantically seeking out their friends, family, and complete strangers to tell the how unquestionably WONDERFUL your establishment is. This is the golden goose of the restaurant industry…well that and how EXCEPTIONAL the food was cooked, presented, and tasted…ok so we have two golden goose standards to meet every day in our business, we can work with that.
So in order to provide a top-notch, A1, five-star customer service experience we have two key factors to focus on the food (Act II) and the professional service (Act I). This is Customer Service, giving the customer an extravagantly scripted presentation to create a specific experience, the experience you choose to deliver. Once you have developed that experience we will also explore ways to attract clients (ACT III) to your stage.
Think of it like a play, you are William “the Bard” Shakespeare, you have written a play with SPECIFIC words and nuances to convey an emotion, a story, an…EXPERIENCE. Now we add a heckler, or a few, who demand more ACTION, what do your actors do? What they should do is continue to deliver the play the way you wrote it and trained them to present it. Now how would you feel if the actors decided to listen to the hecklers, in the middle of your play decided to break into unscripted swordplay and improve. It could ruin your carefully created play.
Why you ask would the actors choose to do this? What if they had been paid by the audience members to provide what they wanted over what your business needed?
But that is SABOTAGE you say,
You are right it is!
And yet you allow your customers to sabotage you each and everyday, paying your staff to ignore you, disrespect you, steal from you and more because it is what they want, and here is the clincher, they pay better than you do.
What a problem, and one you didn’t know you had until I mentioned the elephant in the room, but it’s ok.
The following pages will tell you a story that will help layout the theories and processes to…