It is good to look beyond the menu in a restaurant

It seems that restaurants come and go like the Basil Restaurant here in Norbiton, they change their names on a regular basis, some as many times as they change their menu.

Like any business, a profit has to be made to pay wages, rent and rates, tax and to invest in the future. Although sometimes it is nice to dine in a quiet romantic restaurant, looking into a loved ones eyes, sharing stories and memories, a quiet empty restaurant will not pay the bills.

Perhaps such restaurants have to change the menu. Perhaps they have to change their decor, tables, cutlery, plates. Perhaps they have to change their prices. Perhaps they have to change the attitude of the staff, waiters, cashiers, cooks.

How can they do that?

Perhaps look at other restaurants, at how they are succeeding. Perhaps they should ask their customers as to what they want. Perhaps they should employ consultants.

Here is an example and a lesson on how consultants can make a difference for an organization.

Last week, I took some friends out to a restaurant, and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket.

It seemed a little strange. When the waiter brought our water and utensils, I noticed he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around and saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets. When the waiter came back to serve our soup I asked, “Why the spoon?

 hand and spoon

Well,” he explained, “the restaurant’s owners hired ABC Consulting to revamp all our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour. If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift.

As luck would have it, or on purpose, I dropped my spoon and the waiter was able to replace it with his spare.

I’ll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now.

I was impressed.

Then I noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter’s trouser fly. Looking around, I noticed that all the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies.

So before he walked off, I asked the waiter, “Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?

Oh, certainly! string in a bow

Then he lowered his voice. “Did you have a sausage for breakfast? Not everyone is so observant.

That consulting firm I mentioned also found out that we could save time in the restroom. By tying this string to the tip of our “you know what“, we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39 percent.

After you get it out, how do you put it back?” I asked.

Well,” he whispered, “I don’t know about the others, but I use the spoon.

Oh Poo Poo .

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