three ways communication has evolved and how it can improve your restaurant or foodservice operation’s business

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Rules of engagement: three ways communication has evolved and how it can improve your business
By Jordan Knox
July 24, 2012
Three ways communication has evolved and how it can improve your restaurant's business

As a Generation X member, I feel that I have a strong understanding of the hard work ethic and blind passion for a job that represented my grandparents and parents’ generations. I must also remain in touch with the Generation Y that followed mine, who are well versed in technology, highly educated, and unafraid to question authority if they don’t feel they are respected. Both of these generations have evolved the way that we have communicated in the hospitality industry. As a restaurateur, if you’re not evolving in this critical manner, you are probably missing out on sales and potential revenue.

My parents’ generation focused under the mantra the customer is always right. Although it is very cliché, it is a truth that still has an impact on the day-to-day operations of restaurants across North America every day. This has been the way restaurants have operated for years, and over the last 20 years anyone who has watched a training video on food service has seen some form of this idea. There seems to be a continual curve however that suggests the customer may not be right every time, but that they have the right to voice their ideas and the right to feel understood.

In my generation I feel that our task was to know the product that we were working with and tell a story about it, to make each meal service special. The thought was that you could have the best chef cooking with the best ingredients, but if your service staff did not have the product knowledge there was little impact on your guests’ first perception. Conversely you could have a slightly inferior product, and so long as your staff were knowledgeable about the product and able to tell a story their chances of imprinting on a customer’s perception of quality were much greater. Somewhere along the way I feel the message got a little skewed when staff were gently brainwashed to use certain words or jargon to maintain employment. I do believe however that the underlying value of educating staff, and in turn customers on the products they are eating is invaluable.

About the author:

Jordan Knox works at Northland Properties and is a General Manager in training at Moxie’s in Vancouver, B.C.  With over 18 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, Jordan has worked throughout North America and the Caribbean with industry-leading companies. He received his diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management from SAIT Polytechnic in 2000 and is a lifelong student of the food and beverage industry, always looking for what new trends are emerging.

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