I had lunch with a reformed face toucher last week and he told a great story. First, a bit of background. Layton Judd is an old friend, who I first met when I was building a restaurant and he was selling restaurant equipment. Naturally, the ship date and the arrival date seemed months apart, which was just as well, as finances were running out on the new project. However, I still needed my bar stools and tables. Finances really shouldn’t have come into play. After a phone call filled with enough expletives on both ends to garner a possible FCC fine comparable to those that Howard Stern racks up , the equipment arrived at the back door. Judd went on to open his own restaurants, got a taste of the business, sold them, and today is a successful partner in an Internet company.
However, when he began his career, with The Marriot Corporation, he had to go to a training seminar for a week. At one point in class, Judd moved his hand from the desk and brushed some hair off his face. The instructor stopped the class, and told him to go wash his hands.
Upon his return, he sat down and class began. And then abruptly stopped. He had touched his face again. And again, and again. Each time his fingers made contact with his face, or he scratched his head, he was instructed to go to the bathroom and wash his hands. He was a self professed face toucher.
Where is that instructor today? We need her. Obviously, no one stops class that effectively or often in health seminars any more. Face toiuchers are running rampant.
Yesterday afternoon I stopped at four different coffee cafes and when placing my order observed face touchers in all areas of the cafes. Each time, as I looked around, I noticed that the world is filled with face touchers, hair movers, arm pickers, and stomach scratchers.
It would be prudent for owners to bring the face touching story to light in a meeting with wait staff and kitchen help. Nothing is worse than having a face toucher on the line, in an exhibition kitchen, where the counter overlooks the work area.
Of course, if we all micro analyzed the events that take place during the preparation of a meal in a restaurant, few would probably go out to eat. But, it is our job, as owners, to make sure that as few health infractions as possible occur. And, that nothing takes place to ruin the customer´s desire for that $20.00 entree or $3.00 cup of coffee.
With the fast food industry burdgeoning, and the one on one constant contact a customer makes with an employee, face touching may be more noticeable today than it was years passed. But, it still should be addressed.
In the future, pay attention in an interview to see if you are in the midsts of a face toucher. If you see an employee in your dining room touching their face, or their arm, or scratching their stomachs, tell them to wash their hands. And the next time it happens, send them back to the sink. And, eventually, you will break the entire staff of the habit.
It was great to have lunch with Judd. We talked about the days when we were both in the business and the humorous events that happened.
During lunch, he didn’t touch his face, once.
The instructor broke him of his habit.
All owner´s should try the technique.