Jayne and I returned home this weekend after spending a few days in Sydney celebrating our thirty-second wedding anniversary.
During our time in Sydney we dined out a few times [we were there for three days] and were fortunate enough to dine at restaurants where the food was spectacularly superb.
Sadly, at a couple of places, the service did not match the food, and could only be described as “clunky” at best.
The clunky service was simply very ill-timed.
Restaurant service should be easy.
Restaurant service should be easy.
- Pace the food out so that it’s not rushed.
- Ensure that your patrons have a full glass of whatever they are drinking.
It’s that simple.
But sadly, for a lot of restaurants, getting these two things right is not simple at all.
What generally happens is that the food comes out very quickly, and with minimal spacing between courses. And before you know it, you’re sitting there with your main course in front of you, and you’ve had insufficient time to savour and digest your previous starter courses.
Many times when Jayne and I dine out we have to ask the waitstaff to please pace out our courses.
And with beverages, the opposite occurs…
For some crazy reason, restaurant staff on the whole have significant difficulty in TIMING the delivery of water, wine, and pre-dinner drinks.
When I walk into a restaurant and get seated, the first thing I’d like is a pre-dinner drink, rather than be asked my preference for water.
“Would you prefer still, sparkling, or tap water?”
And I say to myself:
“I’m here to eat. I’m here to drink. And thirdly, I might need some water to wash my food down with.”
And I think to myself:
“PLEASE, just ask me if I’d like to start my visit with a pre-dinner drink!!!!”
They could say:
“Can I start you off with a drink before dinner?”
It’s really that easy!
BUT THEY RARELY DO….
And so we end up with a concertinaing of beverages and food.
The wine is chosen later rather than earlier.
And the pre-dinner drink is ordered way too late after the initial arrival at the restaurant.
Because of this sequence, what we often see is the wine being delivered to the table somewhat later, often arriving AFTER the starters have been served.
This is wrong.
The wine needs to be brought to the table when the pre-dinner drinks are getting low, and before the first course is served.
The timing of the arrival of the wine is what most restaurants get SERIOUSLY WRONG.
This timing faux pas is something that can be easily avoided but is rarely considered important by restaurant wait staff.
And yet the GETTING THIS WRONG that consistently happens is so pathetically clumsy that it looks like really second grade stuff [that’s second grade at school].
And as for the table water…
All that needs to be done is a change of order. The table water preference need not be the lead question. Choice of water would be better asked for when taking the food orders.
Maybe I’m in the minority….
Maybe I’m in the minority.
Maybe the number of water drinkers at restaurants outnumbers the number of wine and pre-dinner drink drinkers?
And that’s why the waitstaff are asking for the water preference firstly?
David, what’s this got to do with dental?
In dental, you can kill a moment if you’re timing is off.
When the phone rings, the way you answer your incoming call, and the order in which you greet and help the caller , and your timing, can really impact dramatically on the EXPERIENCE that that caller has when they phone your practice.
Similarly, back in the 1990s, I had a dental practice receptionist who when checking out the treated patient, always asked for the money firstly and in such an ABRASIVE way that it was the verbal equivalent of holding a cat up by its tail and stroking that cat downwards quickly, from tail to head.
You get the picture?
Yes, there had to be a better way of doing things.
Because we listen to recordings of our clients incoming phone calls we know exactly what is being asked for, and answered, each time the dental office phone rings. This allows us to then coach the dental receptionists on the nuances of the language we need to hear, and the order of events needed that give each phone call a greater opportunity of a far more successful outcome.
The trouble is….
The trouble is that in most cases the owners of the restaurants are not on top of the order and the timing and the serving that is going on in their restaurants, because if they were, they would be addressing this glaring defect, and attempting to correct and improve this dreadful faux pas.
Similarly, the owners of the dental surgeries are not listening to recordings of incoming phone calls, and are not getting the coaching for their front of house team to truly improve themselves.
Because, better is always possible.
But businesses that fail to act, and subsequently keep drifting, multiply the losses that these defects are causing to their income and production.
A well trained team improves exponentially.
An untrained team compounds its losses exponentially….
Dr. David Moffet BDS FPFA CSP is a certified CX Experience coach. David works with his wife Jayne Bandy to help SME businesses improve their Customer Service Systems to create memorable World Class experiences for their valued clients and customers. Click here to find out how David and Jayne can help your business