A friend told me of a sign he came across in a nuclear scientist’s office that simply read “You Can’t Fix Stupid”. This seems to be especially true in the hospitality industry. Try as we might, the frustrations facing owners, customers, and restaurant professionals appears to be mounting to the point of complacency. Stupid is an accepted policy in many restaurants.
However, I disagree with the sign. Stupidity can be fixed. The remedy is simply paying attention and gaining the experience, education, and knowledge that allows one to further their goal. The problem that we as restaurant owners have is that we seldom set training and common sense as a goal.
The other evening I was in a very popular
The problem with the system is that it sometimes works but frequently fails. On this particular occasion the system failed. Ordering a large salad and a whole chicken for the table, one would expect the two to be delivered together as they had been just three nights earlier. Wrong assumption. The chicken was served 40 minutes later after repeated requests for the entrée. This problem had little to do with stupidity, it occurred because nobody was paying attention.
A rampant disease in the American restaurant culture.
Seldom do I frequent an Asian, Mexican or authentic French restaurant and experience a staff preoccupied with anything other than serving the customer and paying attention to their responsibilities.
Yet, restaurants boasting a more American cuisine tend to be less and less efficient as staffing continues to plague the industry.
Could this have to do with the trend that many Americans assume the restaurant business is easier than it actually is and enter the profession with little knowledge or experience? I believe this to be the case. And, it also proves true that those with little business experience do not adequately train their staff to accommodate the customer in the same manner as ethnic restaurants do.
This is blatant stupidity. There is, however, a cure for the disease.
Solid training and paying continual attention to your dining room, your kitchen, and your book keeping can easily alleviate complacency with your staff if you solve the problems that you will see.
It also means bringing in the occasional problem solver to tweak, fine tune, and offer solutions for the pain that we all experience at times.
Over the past months I have been receiving Bill Mavin’s newsletter and have enjoyed it immensely. The Restaurant Doctor, as Mavin bills himself, has a black bag full of techniques and prescriptions for what seems to be ailing the industry today.
If you think your staff may need a shot in the arm, or a kick in the butt, you may want to call Mavin. If nothing else, subscribe to his newsletter. Don’t be stupid, there’s a cure for the disease we all suffer from – we just have to train ourselves to swallow the remedy.