Little things mean a lot. I think that might be the title of an old song. Regardless, it is true nonetheless. Little things can make the difference.
The difference between success and failure. The difference between profitability and loss. The difference between a customer’s good experience or bad.
Both good and bad
The little things you do to accommodate a customer. The little things you do to control your food cost. The little things you do to make your employees happy.
The devil is in the details
We took my brother-in-law out to dinner last week to celebrate his birthday. All-in-all, we had a pretty good time. Sure I could (and often do) nitpick about some of the service and food shortcomings, but I am not a restaurant critic, per se, but rather just someone who wants to have a good time when he goes out and spends $400!
The thing that I found mostly annoying was the fact that our server disappeared after collecting my payment and tip. What if we needed something else?
It was not as if the place was closing down. They were still open, and there were plenty of other tables still left in the joint. The whole ‘I got them to spend all they are going to spend, so I will just get my money and then be nowhere to be found’ approach drives me crazy.
Okay, maybe that is not a little thing
But this is just a little detail that can leave a bad taste in the customer’s mouth (are you tired yet of my food puns?). Missing a detail like this can mean the difference between a customer coming back or not.
About a year ago I took my daughter and friends to dinner for her birthday. After spending $400, the waiter pulled the ol’ disappearing act. I had to get up from the table to ask for our check. AND THEN I had to get up to get someone to run my credit card.
That waiter could have received a $100 tip from me, but…
These seem like ‘little’ things, but they can add up to big things in a hurry.
Are you taking regular inventory? Making sure you have costed out each and every dish properly? A little thing, but again, can make the difference between success and failure.
Do you use your employees’ names every time you talk to them? Are you chatting them up on regular basis? A little thing, but can lead to resentment, or trouble (theft) if you are not.
Did you get out from behind the line tonight to talk to some of your regular guests? If not, they may not be your regular guests for long.
Little things mean a lot
Do you have a pair of reading glasses at the front door for that person who left theirs at home? Do you have some crayons for that young couple with the little kid to entertain him while they eat?
I clearly could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Make sure you are thinking of the little things