Business Review: Insights into Food and Service

What do you think of when you dine at a restaurant with excellent food and service? Do you look forward to a wonderful experience?

You’re likely hoping to enjoy some delicious food with good company. You’re not likely to go to dinner wearing a Consultant hat (figuratively speaking) and analyze what you see with consultant glasses like I do. However, if you do, you may see a familiar experience in a new way.

As a workplace trainer and business operations consultant, I’m like the average customer who goes to lunch or dinner with family or friends. But, as I interact with staff, I notice many details they don’t.

It’s amazing what happens from the moment you choose your food and drink to the moment your order arrives at your table. The server rapidly punches your order in her device. Your drinks arrive, carefully balanced on her large tray.

Behind the scenes, in the kitchen, the cooks make quick calculations so that multiple dishes, each requiring different cooking and preparation times, all arrive at your table at once. At a table for eight, no one feels left out because that one person chose a dish with an extremely long prep time.

In the distance, you hear that your server is finishing her shift – but your table isn’t finished yet. One person in your party needs to leave early and asks for the bill. The server brings the bill, leaves to serve another table, and remembers to return to take the payment.

A new server just starting his shift brings the take-out boxes your group requested earlier. You ask for a group photo so the server asks if you want some of the empty plates taken away first. Then he takes several photos in case someone blinked.

When dinner is finished, your friends make comments about how much they enjoyed seeing each other again.

But you alone notice all the details that went into creating that experience, from the correctly typed orders, the timing of the dishes, and streamlined service, although your dining time straddled two work shifts.

In all, it’s amazing what happens behind the scenes to orchestrate the perfect dining experience for each customer.

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