He mentioned that he "figured out his approach looking at the Zagat Survey." Restaurants would be rated on...Food, decor, and service. And his restaurants would also be rated as New York City "Favorites" But why? Why were they Favorites? Why did they in essence out perform?
Hospitality should be a business strategy. And its not equal to service. Hospitality is the innovation that lasts. Most innovations in my and other industries get copied fast and if you don't execute on that innovation you lose that edge. So performance only gets you to the 49 yard line. Hospitality gets you the rest of the way.
Danny then explained the difference between Service and Hospitality. Simply put...
Services describes how you technically deliver a product, Hospitality describes how you make the recipient of that product FEEL.
So he shifted the conversation from one of the customer always being right to the customer always being heard. And he's right... I may not always be right but I always want to be heard! And this is also important internally with your customers as well.
Its a myth that the customer is alway right... its dishonest, no one is always right...
You need happy employees to deliver happy customers
- I get out to the restaurants. I believe in management by walking around. You have to see and be seend. Employees have to be seen by me.
- I travel to competitors
- I talk to peers
- On keeping my own gas tank filled, I did it wrong for most of my professional life. I thought if I could just balance work and home it would work but my record was bad... I couldnt do it... I never spent enough time in one or the other... the real way to do this.. and to keep the organization dynamic was to keep me dynamic.. I need to do four things... feed my brain, heart, body and spirit.. it doesn't matter whether you are home or at work, as long as you spend the time feeding those needs... if empty in one place I be a poor leader...doesn't matter where you are as long as you keep in shape along those four dimensions.
This is the 4th down cycle I've been through... you can emerge from downcycles by knowing you won't win at everything... you wont win at greater revenues but you can win at feeding the bank by over communicating to your employees and customers. You can also go on the offensive with customers by delivering great hospitality since most competitors are cutting back on "programming." Don't do that, don't cut back... when the economy comes back you will get the benefit of that good will. get creative... give more, make the restaurant a haven for people to feel good and trust if you give more today you will reap more on the up turn.
A fantastic discussion.