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The Great Debates The State of
Service in our

Reader Feedback:

I have been in the Restaurant business for 18yrs, working from dishwasher, cook, server, and now manager. I agree that we managers do take some of the blame for the state of service today in our restaurants. However as I read all this feedback I did not see any suggestions as to how we overcome this "plague" to our business.

I've worked for the corporate giants, and the "mom & pop" organizations. I prefer the one I'm in now, an independent organization. I believe the Key is to be that person who leads by example, and if that means scrubbing a floor, then so be it. My staff retention has been high, and I believe thats because I show them I care about them as people, and showing that I can lower myself to care for them, lead them, train them, and yes disciplin them. I also believe that especially in a tourist area like Lancaster Pennsylvania our labor pool is low, like someone else said each outfit has the proverbial "Help Wanted" sign out front.

How do we attract qualified people? One way I'm sure is to be known as a place where management cares, not a place with a reputation of being jerks, believe me people in our industry talk to one another. I know I don't want to run a place known for being jerks to thier staff. I guess what I'm trying to say is Give respect, get respect from your people, train them, and work your business side by side with them and success is sure to follow.

A happy staff makes happy customers. Believe me these youg people we have to choose from right now need someone to care about them as people. "To Serve" as a manager is to serve your people and your guests. Good Luck, and Good Service to all.

**Next Post

As a recent college graduate, I learned the most important lesson about management was when I worked for four months as a prep/line cook in a local family owned restuarant who were (and still are) known for treating their employees like "jerks". That restuarant's main overemphasis was on extereme customer service but at the expense of mistreating employees to the point of excessive revolving door turnover. If an employee complained about working conditions or (far worse) wanted to make a work schedule change...the management went ballistic. What made matters much worse was the fact that I had to constantly validate my highly insecure supervisor (who was also the owner's son) by calling out every salad order (women were NOT ALLOWED to work on the hot lines) on each ticket whether or not it nonsalad entree on it. It was very sad scene. I was able to move onwards by accepting another position with a different operation.

A. DeVore
Ames, IA

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