TCB or TCM?
by Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor™

The question that guests have for your service staff is TCB or TCM? Are you taking care of business . . . or taking care of me?

As a guest, I expect you to take care of business. For lack of a better term, we call it service, but service is a mechanical function. It is about serving from the left, clearing from the right and not spilling wine on the table. Service is about timing; it is about serving hot food hot and cold food cold; it is about handling the credit card properly; it is all procedural. Taking care of business is important and your guests expect that you will do it efficiently and consistently.

Hospitality, on the other hand, is a human equation. It is personal. It is about me taking care of you . . . because it is YOU, not because you are one of the 75 people who will pass through my station tonight. You don't take care of 75 people anyway. You deal with one person at a time in 75 different scenarios. It is the quality of those individual interactions - the level of hospitality you provide - that determines whether I feel that you really cared about ME and my experience.

SERVERS: speaking as a guest, when you are just taking care of business effectively, I will usually give about the tip you expected because I got about what I expected. Taking care of business is worth 10-15%. However, when I get that you are taking care of ME, when you go beyond the normal parameters of your job to provide me with a delightful dining experience, I will leave you far more than you expect and I will be more anxious to return. Taking care of ME is worth 20-30% . . . or more!

MANAGERS: lest you feel these comments don't relate to you as well, be aware that the way you treat your staff is the way they will treat your guests. As a member of your crew, when you give me about what I expect, I will give you back about what you expect. But when I get that you are truly interested in ME, that you are working in MY best interests, that you are really listening when I talk to you and that you are considering what I say before you respond, then I will move mountains for you.

In all areas of human interaction, the response you will get from me depends on whether I feel that you are taking care of me or just taking care of business!

for further information, contact:

Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor
EFFORTLESS, INC.
PO Box 280
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
(800) 767-1055


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