Monday, April 8, 2013

Fire when ready. Please.

If you don’t prohibit employees from using cell phones on the job, please, for the good of all humanity, impose the ban today. Better yet, threaten the death penalty for anyone who dares to mar the experiences of customers (or, for that matter, other employees) by waging a side conversation as if no one else was present.
I speak from experience, people. Last week I was relishing a terrific meal in a casual-dining concept that most chain operators wish they owned—it’s that well attuned to the tastes and dining habits of Baby Boomers. Then, all of a sudden, there’s a waitress screaming into her phone at the pick-up area of the bar (“I am not going to give you any pictures!”—you can only imagine what was being said at the other end.)
The call continued for a good four minutes. Customers eating at or at tables near the bar kept their heads down, definitely disturbed by not about to draw the employee’s evident anger by asking her to keep her voice down. I was just grateful that she wasn’t my server. Any pretense of a hospitable attitude had been smashed irreparably.
This concept is a model of hospitality, and the GM was on the floor, dashing here and there to pick up menus, check with guests, and perform all the other small actions that provide the extra seasoning to a pleasant experience. But he missed this escapade.
I’m sure the place has such a ban. So maybe you should reconsider Option 2, the death penalty. There’s not a court in the country that’d convict you of anything.

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