Sacrificing Soul for Service?
Sacrificing Soul for Service?Tweet
Atmosphere has a huge impact on how we experience our meal when dining out. Many believe that there are certain colors that help us relax and encourage us to eat more and stay longer. There has been a significant amount of study done to determine if music and more precisely, certain tempos, will change how and what we buy. All these elements play a role in our overall dining experience. Yet, has our attention to them become so extreme that we've forgotten about the food and service?
There is a major chain restaurant that boasts more than 400 restaurants in the U.S. And Canada and has a highly identifiable brand. I used to eat there for lunch on a regular basis because it was within walking distance of my office. The building had a shape, color, and signage that could only belong to this chain. When I entered, the distinct décor communicated that this was a fun, family-friendly place with a casual atmosphere. The staff wore bright colors and their roles were clearly designated through color coordinated outfits and large name badges. The service was brisk and efficient. The food, when served, matched the images on the menu exactly.
On the surface, everything seemed to be on target with the image that the corporation wanted this franchise to emanate. But that's just it, there was never more than the superficial. Something was missing. It was too sterile. The greeting from the hosts was like a recording, said through clenched teeth and hidden behind an artificial smile. The server announced the specials without making eye contact, reciting them precisely but without interest. The manager stopped by the table to make sure that my food was as expected, but asked this while restating the exact name of the dish.
The brand was strong. The training was impeccable. But something was missing.
How could a 400+ restaurant chain have so much success and have so little personality? Where was the warmth? Where was the individual in all of this? And more than any of that, where was the inviting service that I craved?
I can't argue that the staff wasn't trained. In fact, I think they were over-trained. The procedure, the brand and the essence of what that brand should be were trained into the minds of the staff so completely, it was as if automatons worked there instead of people. The personal touch had been removed.
Now, don't get me wrong, we are all for training. It's what we do, think and breathe for a living. However, training must be a balance of what's good for the company, the employee and the consumer.
Consumers are smarter than we give them credit for, and they'll know authenticity and sincerity when they see it. Don't make the mistake of this chain and train the individual out of the restaurant. Your customers will notice. And they won't be back.
To find out more about Waitrainer, click here.
Like This? Share It!
Recent Blog Entries
Schedule a Demo Today
Is online restaurant training right for your business? Find out by clicking below to schedule a demo of Waitrainer+™ restaurant training software.