July 13, 2012

"Have A Nice Day?"

Ever since I was a child, I was told by my parents to "Always use your manners"? I think most of our parents told us that growing up...but I am starting to think that those times have come and gone.  The words "Please" and "Thank You" seem to be rare in the service industry these days...especially in the restaurant industry in my opinion.

You see, I work in the restaurant business, I am around food all day and am exhausted by the end of the day, so I choose not to cook. My wife hates to cook (although I am trying to get her to hopefully learn to love it one day like her mother and sisters do...haha). I can't blame my wife though because we do have 2 VERY high maintenance children at the moment that do require quite a bit of attention. Which means we eat out nearly 7 days a week for dinner.   We obviously try to support the local restaurants and stay away from "the chains".  However, sometimes the inevitable and convenient fast food or my daughter's craving for the Olive Garden croutons gets us to support the "big monster restaurants".

Being in the restaurant business pretty much my whole life, I obviously see different things in a restaurant. The staff, the ambiance and of course the management than most would take the time to analyze are my daily lessons on how I feel I am doing with our Miracle Mile staff.  My main observation is how the words "Please" and "Thank You" are truly rare words that come out of a server or managers mouth when we dine out.  Most restaurants have now replaced a simple "Thank You" with the always generic "Have a Nice Day".  I have NO problem with the "Have a Nice Day", but I am sorry, that DOES NOT  replace the "Thank You". In my opinion, I have over a thousand restaurants to dine at...as do our Miracle Mile customers.

When a customer comes through our serving line and gets to the cashier, 99.9% of the time, the cashier will tell you your total and say the word "Please" after he/she tells you your total (i.e. "That will be $8.79 Please").  When the Miracle Mile cashier gives our customers their change back, 99.9% of the time, the cashier will say "Thank You"....maybe not "Have a Nice Day"...but isn't a simple "Thank You" more important?  It is to me and that's why we have trained our staff to say "Thank You" and show our customers how much we truly appreciate their business (which we really do)!  We may tag the "Thank You" with "Have a Nice Day", "Enjoy your lunch", or "Thank you for coming in".  It doesn't always happen but most of the time if there is time, we will engage with our customers to ensure that they know how much we appreciate their business.

Maybe this is just a rant and I needed to vent...but I just don't understand how some of the most successful and highly recognized businesses in the world (i.e. Think a fast food chain that has the "golden arches"... among several others in the restaurant and retail industries)  doesn't see the importance of explaining to their highly trained employees, how important it is to say "Thank You" to their customers (most of the time it's an insincere "Have a Nice Day" with no eye contact or appreciation whatsoever of my purchase).  This day in age, isn't it MORE important to engage with your customers and make them feel good about making a purchase at your establishment? I know I feel better about a place if I feel appreciated as a customer.

I know most employees that work in the retail industry are not rocket scientists with a Master's degree in Astrophysics. But didn't most of us learn at a very early age how important it is to say "Please" and "Thank You" in several aspects of life?  Then at what point in life does that theory no longer apply?  Just curious....

I hope that EVERY single customer that steps into a Miracle Mile Delicatessen, knows how much they are appreciated and walk out of our establishments feeling as though they received efficient and appreciative customer service from our employees.  The person that is taking your money (i.e. the cashier), should be especially appreciative and sincere, regardless of whether it's in my restaurant or your local grocery store. If you are reading this blog and have stepped into a Miracle Mile and haven't felt as though you had a great customer service experience, please comment and let me know because I would love your feedback on how we could have done better!

At any rate, I feel as though if I am spending my money somewhere, I should feel appreciated because my money (as well as everyone else's in our current economic state) is more valuable now, seeing that I am more conscious of where and how I spend it.  It just seems that in my opinion, fewer companies are taking their customer appreciation seriously and need to take a step back, get back to basics and remember what their Mama and Daddy taught them... Simple manners and three words... "Please" and "Thank You"

Thank You for reading my rant and allowing me to vent to you!  Please come back again soon!  HAVE A NICE DAY!

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