Published: 7 years ago

Trash Your Vision

I’m usually not a huge fan of chain Mexican restaurants. Oh sure, the food is usually good and my family digs ’em, so I’m there quite a bit. But overall, it’s not what I’d choose. I can’t handle the cacophony of “Welcome to our Mexican restaurant with the catchy one-word title!” being yelled every time someone walks in the door. I think the menus are far too complicated when the reality is you have two choices: rice / beans / chicken on a tortilla or beans / chicken / rice on chips. Why not just say, “I want it on chips, in whatever order you choose to serve it up.”?

Editor’s Note: Congratulations. You’ve just become your own grandfather. Lighten up, old dude.

But recently we tried the newly-opened option down the road. Our experience there was good: the service was fast, the food was presented in an acceptable order of layers, and the people were nice.

But it was the experience after the meal that really caught my attention. As we were taking our trays to the trash, the young employee that was cleaning that area simply asked, “Sir, how was your meal today?” He stopped what he was doing, looked me in the eye, asked a clear question, and upon my answer, continued to engage: “I’m certainly glad you enjoyed it. I hope you’ll come back soon!”

That was it. But that was enough. In a segment of the food industry that typically hires solely based on a person’s ability to mumble and avoid eye contact, this particular fast food place won me over with that simple interaction. When the guy who collects your plastic baskets out of the trash can has the ability to focus on the win, then your entire restaurant will win. This kid was not the manager, nor the assistant manager, nor the son of either of ’em. But he was polite, he was proactive, and he engaged customers until the very last moment.

How about your organization? Whether you run a Mexican restaurant or serve the local church, can your people focus on the win and capture vision from top to bottom? Is everyone from your CEO to janitor bought in to serving your guests and keeping them coming back?


One Comment.
  1. Connie Pearson says:

    Steve and I LOVED this and agree totally with your point. He immediately asked that I e-mail it to him so he could share it with his veterinary hospital staff. Thanks for putting into words what we all know to be true.

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