What Can I Do To Make This Better?

Imagine it’s New Year’s Eve.  Every restaurant you want to get into is going to be packed.  You know this so you prepare for it by making a reservation.  You make a reservation for 7:00pm with the expectation that when you show up at 7:00pm the restaurant will have a table ready for you.  That’s the whole reason you make a reservation, right?!  Well, some restaurants must have missed that memo.  Instead, what a 7:00pm reservation means is you show up at 7:00pm but you will be seated in the order that you came in the door, the same as every other customer that walks in and didn’t make a reservation.  So instead of sitting down at 7:00pm to eat, you don’t get seated until well after 8:00pm.  So what this basically equates to is this: you tried to do what was right and make the restaurant’s life easier by letting them know when you were coming and how many people you would be with, but they don’t care that you made the extra effort.

It doesn’t end there.  Once you’re finally seated you then get lucky enough to wait another hour before they cook your food.  By the time you eat it’s 9:30pm, recalling that your reservation was for 7:00pm.  Over the course of this 2.5 hour time frame you asked more times than could be counted, when are you going to be seated and when is your food coming out, and not one person took ownership and gave you a direct answer.  Instead, their answers were, “I’m not sure, it’s really busy, maybe in like 10 minutes?”  And you have to accept that answer because that’s the best you can get from a poorly run establishment such as this one.  Nevertheless, you eat your food and enjoy the time you have to spend with your friends and family as the new year comes to an end.

At the end of the night, you get the chance to put the icing on the proverbial cake when you ask to speak to the manager.  This time you get one better.  The owners are there!  Wow!  Think about this for a moment.  The owners of the restaurant are at the restaurant and you just experienced one of the worst levels of service imaginable.  Sad and unbelievable!

So you get your opportunity to speak with the owner.  You explain what happened over the course of the night, because out of compassion for them you think that as an owner you would want to know if people had a bad experience so you could do everything in your power to improve that experience.  So yeah, you are trying to be nice, even though it seems they are doing everything in their power to ruin your last night of the year, and what does the owner do?  They argue with you!  Holy Jesus!!  They argue with you and tell you all of their problems!  News flash!  Customers in your restaurant could give two shits less what your problems are!  They are paying you money.  You should be doing anything in your power to fix any negative experience they have.  You should be bending over backwards to right any wrongs.

But alas, I digress, because some people just don’t get it.

Despite this being a largely negative experience all the owner had to say after listening to everything you had to say was, “what can I do to make this better?”  Wow!  That’s it?!  It’s that simple?!  With those 8 words she could have taken a situation that was bad and made you feel like you really mattered.  She could have offered you to come back for a buy one get one free meal.  Or she could have comped part of your meal that night.  Anything.  Something.  And that is what would have given her an opportunity to create respect and loyalty for her establishment, but she flushed that opportunity down the drain.  Just like her employees she chose to rent the problem instead of owning it and fixing it.  And now it should make more sense why your night was what it was, the owner created a culture inside that restaurant that was just like her.  That of a renter.  And the renter attitude shined like the lights of Times Square.

It’s 2011.  You have a new year ahead of you.  Don’t be like every person in this restaurant – a renter.  When you have problems don’t mope and groan and make excuses about why things are not right or ideal or perfect.  Ask yourself, “what you can I do to make this better” then get to work.  Put yourself in the right mindset to move in a positive direction and to create positive change.

Happy New Year!

(Chad)

1 comment so far

  1. Christi on

    I feel like this actually happened to me…I will certainly try to be more of an owner this year…thanks Geez!


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