Saturday morning my wife and I took her brother and his girl friend to the airport to catch an early morning flight. Since I like to eat a big "ol unhealthy breakfast about once a month, I started thinking about where we could eat. But my favorite restaurant closed some months back and I have been at a loss to find a good replacement. My usual fallback where my favorite waitress worked was too far out of the way. The only restaurant serving breakfast on the way home was a Denny´s. My family and I had eaten there about two years ago with a less than positive customer service experience. Still, it was in the right location. We went in.
At 7:30 on a Saturday morning, there were only two tables occupied. A waitress saw us and said someone would be right with us. With three waitresses working two tables (once we sat down) it took almost five minutes before we were seated.
Once we were seated, service was prompt. But when our food was delivered, I noticed that the hash browns were blackened. I took a bite, and they seemed okay so I didn´t send them back. (Even a Denny´s should care about presentation.) But, with about four bites left, they started to taste burnt. The toast was the same way. The first slice was okay, but the bottom slice was burnt. While we were eating, our waitress disappeared for far too long. My wife ran out of hot water for her tea and we had to flag down another waitress. But we could hear our waitress laughing in the kitchen.
The other two waitresses seemed to be competent but we couldn´t wait to leave and we won´t be back.
Who´s at fault here? The cook failed to prepare the food correctly and the waitress failed to check back on a timely basis. I hold "management" responsible. Did they hire the right people? Were they properly trained? Were they held accountable? Why did the restaurant only have two tables occupied on a Saturday morning? Did the locals know something we didn´t? There are residential neighborhoods less than two miles away in several directions. As usual, this Denny´s was in front of several motels on a highway.
If corporate is wondering why this store´s sales aren´t higher, they could probably find a multitude of reasons. The list might begin with hiring the right people, properly training them, then holding them accountable. Like one of their competitors nearest my home.
“Business is no longer a matter of profits alone. Profits must come through public confidence, and public confidence is given to any merchant in proportion to the service which he gives to the public.”
— JC Penney in his speech on “The Business Man and the Community,” 1930