Restaurant Doctor Hospitality Resources
 

Testimonials from EHC Subscribers

A few years ago, I asked my subscribers how the weekly Electronic House Call (EHC) had impacted their businesses. Here is what some of them had to say:

I read every newsletter from beginning to end - not always on time but I NEVER delete one without reading it first. I have yet to read one that did not provide at least one reminder or new idea that I could put to immediate use. I take the idea or thought or process back and share it with my staff. It is like having a personal coach who is full of unending great ideas. – Natalie Milholland, Richards Restaurants, Inc., Bryant, IN

An easier question might be how has it NOT impacted my business. I discovered you quite by chance, surfing the web for info when re-entering the restaurant industry, and considering buying the operation down the road. Reading the archived articles and newsletters gave me hope that I really could run a restaurant the way I dreamed of -- NOT running staff into the ground, NOT sacrificing my entire life ... and three years later, that's what I've got (most of the time!) The EHC comes both as a shot in the arm or a prick in the conscience, depending on where I'm at that week. It has helped me stay focused on goals, given me thousands of practical tips, made me stretch and made me back up and re-evaluate. Thank you, Bill, for your terrific work, great insight, and pooling that together with great info from other business owners like myself and experts in different business fields. (Yeah, I'm a groupie -- just ask my staff who've seen you quoted many times in THEIR weekly newsletter!) – Tani Hemmila, Blue Bear Café, Moose Lake, MN

It really helped me to consider my employees first on a daily basis -- how they were feeling, what they were thinking. My understanding of them and consideration for their needs greatly improved their desire to respond to my needs and those of the business. It also helped me to make little mental adjustments on how to better serve and interact with guests. I read the 50 Tips book a lot so I'm sure some of my appreciation for insight comes from that source too. – Dan McCormick, Troy, MI

Great ideas knowing others share the same staff problems. – Helen Caines, Moe Hotel, Moe, Australia

I oversee 650+ hotels in the South and I can easily take Bill's service suggestions and put it to use in my industry. The common factor is service and today all industries need to provide it or fall behind. Bill provides innovative ideas and reminders to keep doing what works. – JP Nolan, Cendant, Vero Beach, FL

It’s a nice break during the week. It always makes me stop and reflect on what I am currently doing. The ideas presented are easily transformed into any business operation – Name withheld by request

The EHC makes me slow down and read about things that many I knew but had forgotten. Gets me to refocus on not just the problems but the real causes. And I thank you for that. – Jack Beard, Damon's Grill, Hilliard, OH

The EHC always contains some fact or concept that I can use to start a discussion with my staff. It takes me out of the busy day to day restaurant environment and makes me think about how it should be. – Bob Marr, The Buttermilk Café, Cobourg, ON, Canada

I pick at least one (sometimes two) of the thoughts and ideas from the newsletter and use it in a newsletter. I use sales building ideas but I also use a lot of the human resource ideas and people skills ideas that come from the "What did you learn from your crew today" section. I can only say that this is great information that will make your business prosper if used. – Don Sills, Northern States Franchises, Brainerd, MN

Reading it every Friday gives me some things I can use on the weekends to motivate my employees and build business. I look forward every Friday to reading it. – Lynn Anderson, Chanticlear Pizza, Vadnais Heights, MN

EHC has impacted our business by providing an outside perspective on how others in the industry handle challenges. I enjoy reading the ideas of others. I like when an idea comes from a restaurant experience. The comments and ideas are hospitality specific and from the HR perspective, I appreciate the unique challenges we have in this industry. – Rena Henderson, Elmer's Restaurants Inc., Portland, OR

I Particularly like "What did you learn from your staff today?" This constant reminder/tip has increased communication with my team of mostly high school kids. They have great ideas, and I've learned what great people these kids are. Even after they leave us for college or other opportunities, they are a part of the Caliche's family. – Andy Carter, Caliche's Frozen Custard, Roswell, NM

It has made us more aware of the characteristics of our customers; who they are, what they say, what they want, what pleases and displeases them, why they come to Paul's. It has also made us more aware of who 'We' are, the employees of Paul's, and how we see each other as members of our team. – Steven Browe, Paul's 5th Avenue, Grandview Heights, OH

Since I subscribed to the newsletter I have never skipped one, it is being my mentor, my counselor. It has become like a ritual for me. Every time I see a new email from the Restaurant Doctor I start to think about what I've done, changed, improved, and I set my mind in the mood of listening. Sometimes I'm doing the right thing, other times I have to change the way I'm conducting business. Other times I'm just willing to implement something new that I've never heard about before. Thank you, Doc. – Gabriel Cuellar, Mixto Inc., Philadelphia, PA

It's great for ongoing tips on how to coach my managers and my staff. It really enables me to step back and view my operation with new eyes. – Mike Sher, Los Gatos, CA

It has acted as more of a reminder or catalyst when dealing with my current clients. – Jeffrey Markus, NCO Consultants, Ontario, Canada

We run a family business and saw you in person at a food show and were so impressed with you. I look forward every week to your e-mails because I feel that out of all the restaurant mags and papers we receive you're right on and I make the whole family read them. We've learned quite a bit from you plus you have a sense of humor which makes learning easy and enjoyable. – Adele Csepi, Flamangos Restaurant, Whitehouse Station, NJ

Many times Bill has solved problems and questions the same way I would do it or have done it. This confirms I am heading in the right direction. Thanks Bill. – Russell Eng, J.J. Morgan Restaurant, Victoria, BC, Canada

Reinforces that we are a band of restaurateurs, and that I are not the only manager facing these same daily problems. Gives me new ideas and extra confidence to tackle some of the issues that come up. – Sean Mulvaney, Poppys Restaurants, Waterford, Ireland

I find it informative and have used several ideas to help improve our shop. I think more than anything it is a kick in the butt about things I already know but am not doing. – Tom Combs, TLC Food Services, Franklin, OH

Every week you write something different. It's information that we have learned over the years mostly, but it's great information. Sometimes we get too busy to think and we forget to listen to our employees or to pay attention to up front to actually see if our hosts are ignoring our guests. Thank you for all your knowledge, all your skills. They are outstanding, so thank you! – Brian Solack, Red Lobster, Lynnwood, WA

We like your pithy, succinct words of wisdom. Not rocket science but constant reminders of things we probably already know but have allowed daily pressures to push from front of mind. – Chris Lloyd-Rostock, Ross Village Bakery, Tasmania, Australia

Secured my thoughts on things I thought I was doing correctly and offered options. – Geoff Cullen, RSA Training, Queensland, Australia

The EHC presents new and innovative ways to communicate with employees, customers, and vendors. It also reinforces the procedures that I already use. Bill Marvin brings so much experience to the table in the EHC, it is like having a mentor looking over my shoulder throughout the day. – Michael Lanzarotta, Crown City Brewery, Pasadena, CA

I enjoy and look forward to each weekly newsletter. I find them a quick and easy read that is packed with at least one great idea I can take something from. – Kyle Agha, New Town Bistro, Winston Salem NC

It has impacted me for sure, but I haven't been able to measure it's impact on the business in dollars. Looking back 4-5 yrs ago, when I came across your web page about restaurant insight and tips, I immediately realized that you were dishing out good stuff. The ideas make so much sense that, after a while, certain practices become the norm and like great philosophy being used in daily life, it turns into "just common sense." This is not belittling your idea, but rather saying how strong it is. The ideas are accepted as part of daily life without second thoughts. Tapping into the ideas and talent of existing staff is a challenge itself, something, I am constantly learning everyday and not to mention I read your EHC that "What did you learn from your staff today?" and it's got into my head to sub-consciously reflect on employee actions. Some insights like the leadership and staffing are fantastic for independent restaurateurs, but I am unable to incorporate the ideas as I work within a larger organization, which, has it's own system of recruiting. This is due to the academic nature of our institution. Nevertheless, your ideas are good as I have used some of them last fall to set a personal standard to accept a person within our retail dining services. In the larger context, working with better people has others to also pull up their socks too. – Mohammed Zafar, UMass Amherst Dining Services, Amherst, MA

It has actually excited me as something to look forward to during the course of my week. Although, along with all of my other business e-mails, I sometimes cannot get to it the same day it arrives. In addition, I responded to "What have you learned from your staff today?" and my response was printed or showcased on the very next EHC addition. I was reading the news letter and got to that particular portion on the news letter and the response sounded eerily familiar. Low and behold it was actually me! (fun) Also, the EHC has brought me to other areas of F&B that would have probably taken me months, if not longer, with the posted links. For that I am truly appreciative. So, not only do I have so little time to peruse Bill Marvin EHC, I now have additional news letters I have signed up for. – Eugene, Seven Clans Casino, Thief River Falls, MN

The EHC has become a part of my tricks to organize my time and my week: Friday is EHC-Day! Awaiting the EHC in the evening (GMT)to come I start in the morning to check what I wanted to improve last week and what I managed to improve last week. What do I have to carry forward? In the evening after reading the new EHC I plan my next week. So the EHC is part of my structure of my work (and of course it's part of the professional input in order to manage my job). On the other hand the EHC (and the other publications of Bill Marvin) made me more self-confident. I started in our business five years ago with almost no experience never mind a training. Many things I did and do, I do instinctively; even instinctively right. So it's hard for me to explain why I do things the way I do them, especially if my staff asks me why. But more and more I'm able to answer these questions pretty self-confidently because I read about it in the EHC. – Daniel Voss, Café Konkret, Bochum, Germany

I am relatively new to the EHC, but in the few months I have been reading I think I have become if anything a better listener. Just reading the "What did you learn from your staff today?" at the end of each EHC has been a help. Almost every week I find a good little tidbit that has helped in my managing style and in reminding me what’s more important in the business. We sometimes loose focus in a restaurant and the EHC can put me back on track. Thanks. – Brent Lewis, The Grate Steak, Norfolk, VA

Two-three minute time investment each week = insights and ideas that are up to the minute, plus good reminders of the basics. Highly recommend! – Angie Covington, Country Cookin, Roanoke, VA

Helps to organize my thoughts for the week. I use this time to generate points of action for the upcoming week and focus of new ideas. – Gary Giberson, Gulf Coast Bar-B-Q, Daphne, AL

I am glad I found this web site. I read it from opening to close as well as print it for back reference when I need to go back and make a point. I especially enjoy the "what I have learned from my staff section, and the constant reminder to listen to what they say. All too often it is too easy to let there whining go by the way side as just complaining about a hard day. But when you stop to really listen, you can have an insight on points you might have taken for granted or simply overlooked in your day to day drive to reach that days sales or labor goals. I also took note of the example of increasing gas prices vs big jump and how easy it is to get complacent with the status quo. Whenever I can I share some point I have read in our weekly management round table or one on one with a staff member. – David Trout, Black Bear Diner, Monterey, CA

It helps to take a few minutes to slow down and sometimes redirect my thoughts. – Heidi Westfall, Alpenhorn Bistro & Bar, Smithers, BC, Canada

I have been a subscriber of the Restaurant Doctor for a long time and have been fortunate to see Dr. Bill in seminars on several occasions. I find his approach an enlightened common sense message. We have used several of his ideas over the years beginning a long time ago with the use of clear Xmas lights in Special party and buffet settings. Most of what we get from the EHC are things that are simple and yet we just don't think of them. Others are a unique approach to something we do every day. The EHC is short, easy, and effective. Love it! – R.J. Fisher, Pancake Chef, Mackinaw City, MI

The Electronic House Call is a great tool for improving business and quality of life. Bill's observations are right on. The EHC keeps us in the mind-set of "working on our business, not in it." This ability to see the forest, not just the trees, reduces stress, allows employees to grow and accept more responsibility and positively affects the bottom line. – Karen Cooley, Chez Pierre Restaurant, Tallahassee, FL

Brings management to a new level - instead of just doing the day-to-day work involved in running the company, the EHC suggests ways to explore new avenues of thought. It's like a mini trade conference, but only takes a few minutes a week, not a whole day or two away from work. – Christine Bib, Christine Bib Catering, Toronto, ON, Canada

I read every one of them and get operating ideas very often. If I run into a problem with my operation, I go into the archives and find a solution. – Kevin Ross, Jake's Neighbourhood Grill, Peterborough, ON, Canada

The Biggest impact is on myself. I find that your suggestions tend to jerk my chain as to how I'm performing as a manager. Like your resent letter on knowing all about your customers and utilizing them as a resource for new ideas is terrific. We tend at times to think that every new idea is sound only to have it fail because we did not do our homework. Without your weekly thought Bill I would probably fall back into the old inefficient ways of running the business. – Bill Vronsky, The Mill Restaurant & Pub, Cobourg, ON, Canada

It is an invaluable tool to what I do. Sysco customers really come to expect our marketing associates to point them in the direction of experts in our industry. Without the help that you offer I would find it very difficult in today environment to succeed. – Name withheld by request

I used to work 60-70 hours/week thinking I always had to be present and overseeing the main meal hours. I learned from the EHC the importance of proper training and learned to trust my people. I now rarely work over 30 hours/week and have the confidence that my people will take care of any situation. My staff enjoys having more responsibility and they are glad I'm not always looking over their shoulders. Thanks, Restaurant Doctor for helping me get my life back! – Name withheld by request

I have been a fan of Bill Marvin for many years. I've attended several of his seminars, read his books and have subscribed to many publications. EHC has been a topic of several management and pre-shift meetings since it's inception. I have also used some material for our in-house employee newsletters. Sometimes it's a reminder, sometimes it brings a new 'ah ha' in the way we think, and ultimately do business. I save every one and use them for reference. Thank you, Bill! – Susan Rawlings, Crow's Nest Restaurant & Bogey's Sports Pub, Venice, FL

I am a District Sales Manager for a food distributor. Although EHC is for restaurants, the material relates to the customers my sales people call on. The suggestions for running a restaurant are helpful tools in relating to operator owners, or managers. The listening and learning from your staff, has helped me be a better manager for my sales people. Rather than spew my agenda, I am reminded to listen to their concerns. I can then help them achieve what they are trying to accomplish, rather than lose them in that critical moment. If there is a gap in their performance, listening more will help identify the problem, and often they know what needs to be done. they simply speak the solution, and clarify it in their own mind. It helps me keep them on track. – Jay Wacker, Food Services of America, Bismarck ND

The EHC gives me a weekly focal point. I write it out so that I can focus on it. Anything I write is important and gets better results than just reading about it. – Bharat Mansukhani, Flamers Grill, Westminster, MD

I start my Friday by looking forward and reviewing backward. The articles are always relevant and add value to my business. Many times the articles will be food for thought for discussions with the staff. I value the information that is shared here and highly encourage all of you to enroll in the Year of the Guest program. – Stuart Gray, 4 Remarkable Service, Dallas TX

The EHC offers me a "real" global look at todays opportunities in the restaurant business, a different look at the same things from a different country – what more can you ask for? Just the stuff that makes you go "hmmmm"?!! – Steffen Knauss, Café Deli, Laichingen, Germany

EHC is about having an ongoing conversation with that "smarter person" everyone tells you that you must keep around you if you are to get better at becoming more successful! – Jeffrey Summers, GameOn! Restaurant Coaching Solutions, Princeton, TX