Sunday, February 17, 2013

Detail signals good service

I recall a story by Danny Meyer, owner of several restaurants in NYC noted for good food and excellent service. He told of a signal set by the person who seated a party at their table. If they had been told of the daily specials, the salt and pepper shakers were positioned with the sugar dispenser in one way, if they hadn't been, they were positioned in the other way. A simple device, it depends upon consistency and discipline but can pay big dividends when the next person to the table doesn't have to repeat what has already been said.

At a family wedding, a similar device was used by the serving staff. As they distributed coffee cups to the table, people ask if they wanted coffee and if they wanted regular or decaf. If they wanted coffee, they got a cup and saucer and were then told to keep it upside down until the coffee server came around.

upside down cup indicates decaf coffee
The coffee servers when they came to each table were able to carry one carafe of coffee at a time. Better to serve easily without spilling, and they still saved time as they did not need to ask if the person wanted regular or decaf. That decision was already made and indicated by the position of the cup.

The coffee when it was served was both good and Hot!

What kind of signal can you set for your service delivery to help the delivery process?

It may take some time to work out but should provide you (and your customers) some lasting benefits!

For more on Danny Meyer, consider visiting the wikipedia page which is rich with links to follow