At the CHART (Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers) Conference in Washington, DC, I heard an idea that deserves further reflection. Lee Cockerell, Executive VP at Walt Disney World, said, "You can't deliver a higher level of service than you have experienced." It's an interesting point. If you haven't seen it, how are you going to model it? How can you even begin to understand what I mean when I try to explain it to you?

What is the highest level of service that you regularly experience? Are you always checking out operations comparable to yours or are you visiting folks who are performing at a higher level? How can you get better without a clear idea of what better looks like?

What do you suppose is the highest level of service the members of your staff have experienced? If you want to see material improvements in guest service, they are going to have to visit restaurants that operate at a higher level of than yours and get a first-hand experience of what is possible.

What operations in your market might serve as that sort of model for your crew? What should you be doing to promote (or even subsidize) their learning process in this regard? Just a point to ponder.

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Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor™
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