Monday, July 31, 2006

Do you want kid's in your restaurant?

The number one item posted on the last 4 surveys I have read about bad service is - not surprising to me! - rude behavior of children in the dining room! And I agree! This is even noted above and before rude service from an employee!

I think the day is coming - and not to soon for me - that restaurateurs will begin to find ways to crack down on rude behavior from children. Would you allow that kind of behavior from adults? Not in the least. So why tolerate it from children?

I always coach clients that you make more money from adults who wish to visit you because you do not allow insensitive behavior from the children of obtuse parents. Unless of course you are Chuck E Cheese or a business that is geared toward children. It's sort of along the lines of the arguments against going smokeless. And once we make the transformation, we will all kick ourselves at not having done it sooner!

Read this writer's experience! Sound familiar?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Little Detail that Matters for Small Retailers

In this guest column, popular guest writer John Wyckoff says no one ever talks about the condition of the restrooms as a key to growing a retail business -- but maybe they should. Restrooms give customers clues as to how you run your business and the attention you pay to the details.

Read more here!

Wake up already!

Press Releases: Zagat.coms Message about Service


Service - The Weak Link: As with most cities Zagat surveys, service is the number one dining irritant of Chicago’s restaurant goers, cited by 77% of all surveyors. In comparison, noise (8%), prices (4%), and poor food (4%) come in far behind.

Service The Weak Link: As with most American cities, the vast majority of Atlantans found poor service to be the most irritating factor in the local dining scene. Sixty-three percent of all dining-related complaints were about service, compared to only 14% about noise, 6% about prices, 6% about food, and 4% about parking and traffic.

ServiceThe Weak Link: As with most American cities, an overwhelming percentage of Texans found poor service to be the most irritating factor in the local dining scene. Seventy-eight percent of all dining-related complaints were about service, compared to only 8% about noise and 4% about prices.

“Zagat Releases 2006/2007 Chicago RestaurantsGuide”(,Jul.20,2006)
“Zagat Releases 2006/2007 Atlanta Restaurants Guide” (,Jun.21,2006)
“Zagat Releases First Statewide Texas Dining Guide” (,Apr.7,2006)

Abe Lincoln's Customer Relationship Philosophy

"I don't like that person -

I think I need to get to know him better."

- Abraham Lincoln

Is that your attitude when it comes to customer relationships? You can see why Lincoln was a skilled politician...his attitude was right on target, even when it came to people he might not necessarily be drawn to right away.

In sales, as in politics, shunning a customer or a prospect because 1) you don't like their personality, 2) don't think they have the money to do business with you, 3) are in the "wrong part of town", or 4) rubs you the wrong way...all of them are bad motives.

There is something good in everyone, but you need to look hard for it sometimes. But that's not a reason not to do business with them.

However, I've seen more than my share of sales professionals walk away from good potential business relationships simply because they don't "like" the other person. Hey, guess what: This isn't high school. You aren't passing notes in your home room, and your customer isn't going to ask you to the prom. It's a professional business relationship, and you need to grow up and act your age when it comes to being patient with your customers, even when they don't return the favor to you at first.


One of the country’s top restaurateurs on the difference between service and hospitality.

Q: I’d like my restaurant to provide great customer service, but staffers don’t seem to grasp the concept. Can it be taught?

The most important thing you can do is make the distinction between customer service and guest hospitality. You need both things to thrive, but they are completely different. Customer service entails getting the right food to the right person at the right time. Hospitality is the degree to which your customers feel that your staff is on their side…”

source: “Ask Danny Meyer” by Danny Meyer (Inc. Magazine, Jul.2006)

75 Percent of Mystery Shoppers Say Customer Service Has Not Improved With the Addition of Summer Help

With the summer season in full swing, many retailers and restaurants across the United States have hired part-time summer help. Overall, this extra help has not resulted in an improvement in customer service, according to more than 75 percent of mystery shoppers who attended the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) Third Annual National Educational Conference for Shoppers held July 7-9 in Chicago.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

WOW! Service is bad? No way!

There's a large serving of irony in the fact that at this point in our lives, when there's so much to celebrate and we can easily afford restaurant meals, staying home has become the classier choice. In a community of dining spots -- each advertising avidly for our dollars -- we stay home and dine in.

Read Article

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Shameless commercial!

If you have service issues you need resolved, call me at 1-877-GameOn1 to talk about how we can help you build a better service model!

The first one who does this in your market is going to win big. It might as well be you!

Also, check out my online store and see what products and services you can use to help you coach yourself to a better business!


This weekend my family went to our neighborhood pool for a late afternoon swim and dinner. Our pool complex has a restaurant that sells great burgers, pizza, salads, soft drinks and ice cream. I have always thought it to be cool having such an amenity at the pool, although this was the first time we have ever ordered dinner at this establishment. Neighbors had proclaimed that the food is good...

Read more here!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Comcast - a tale of poor customer service and screwed up management decisions

So a guy has problems with his cable modem and spends time in Comcast's online customer service hell (he also happens to be the biggest champion for the movie snakes on a plane, even though the movie makers newer acknowledged that). Then Comcasts decides to send a technician out to have the modem swapped out. When the technician calls Comcast to activate the modem, he ends up in the same customer service hell hole as most customers end up in and spends an hour on hold - and falls asleep on the customer's couch. The customer videotapes the incident and puts it on YouTube. Next thing you know it gets picked up by mainstream media outfits like the NYT, Forbes, and even airs on MSNBC's "Countdown" program, just to name a few. More than 300,000 people view the video on YouTube.

Another good customer service story - right? This must have been a great wake-up call for Comcast management to start fixing their problems...

What do you think happened next?

Comcast FIRED the technician! talk about a wrong-headed management decision.

What do you think?

Take the poll Free Poll by Blog Flux


Friday, July 07, 2006

Communicating Your Expectations To Your Employees Enhances The Customer Service Experience

Two guys walk into a bar Whoops! Wrong story. Lets try again. One of my co-workers walked into one of her regular restaurants with a friend and ordered a meal. Sitting next to the wall, they had a birds eye view of a cockroach crawling down that wall. When they brought it to the attention of the manager, she removed the roach but attempted to change the subject to ask how they liked the meal.

Keep reading here.

Max’s Laws Revisited!

  1. This restaurant is run for the enjoyment and pleasure of our customers, not the convenience of the staff or owners.
  2. You get gree round of drinks if anyone on our staff comes up and says, “Is everything all right?” When we aske questions, they’ll be helpful ones.
  3. You must get your mustard and ketchup before your burger, sandwich or fires.
  4. We hate soggy fries. If yours aren’t crisp, they way you like them—-send them back—-maybe the kitchen will get the message.
  5. Corned beef and pastrami are good because they contain some fat. If you want something lean, how about our turkey?
  6. Our turkey is always fresh. Period.
  7. Our iced tea is table brewed. Just pour it over a big glass of ice.
  8. Soft drinks come in bottles or cans. No bar guns here.
  9. San Francisco bakers don’t bake on Wednesday and Sunday. Our breads are fresh all other days. The pastry we make is fresh every day.
  10. Our ice cream sauces are a point of pride. They’re made in New York by a certified chocoholic who refuses therapy. They are simply the best in the country. And we don’t boast idly.
  11. We use only Kozlowski’s jams—-what else!
  12. We bring pastrami and ice cream sauces from New York City, mustards from Oregon, hot sauce from Jersey. Eat here. Save the airfare.
  13. This is a bad place for a diet and a good place for a diet.
  14. Our desserts are excessive because nothing succeeds like excess. We encourage sharing if you’re not super hungry.
  15. Substitutions are okay by us, don’t be bashful, you’ve got a mouth, use it.
  16. We cook hamburgers 2 ways: medium rare or well done; anything else is at your own risk!
  17. Please do not take the menus, they will cost you $10 cash (we’ve got miniatures for free).
  18. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone using the word, “nouvelle.”
  19. We use cholesterol free oil for frying and sauteing. Eat your heart out, Mr. Surgeon General.
  20. Our to-go containers are Serco-Foam products and contain no CFCs, they they will not harm the environment.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Dining on the road an eye-opener about service!

Read complete story here.

Customer entropy partially to blame for poor customer service

Come to think about it, customer entropy (or customer apathy) is partly to blame for the state of customer service. The reason most companies deliver bad customer service is because they can - not enough customers complain or abandon brands after a bad customer service experience.

If more people were to talk back to companies or report customer service abuse to their local local consumer affairs departments, the overall state of customer service would improve.
What do you think? Is there a way to foster consumer activism so that we can finally get the service that we deserve, the right return on providing our personal information as part of buying transactions, and intelligent humans to interact with when facing post sale issues? Or is it like voting - enough people are generally happy enough so that the only thing we can expect is status-quo?

You would expect that a new entrant who delivers outstanding customer service would change the playing field in that sector - but is that really happening? Could it happen?

Service exceeds mere obligation!

Compiled by Mona Shoup
Houston Chronicle

Camille Iglehart says she and four friends went to Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurant, 2414 Southwest Freeway, for a girls' night out.
"We were about to finish our meals and margaritas, which were wonderful, when an incident occurred that we all knew was beyond the restaurant's control.

Read Story.