Friday, June 23, 2006


Excellence is something that's lacking in most food and drink establishments these days. Be it a top tier restaurant, a chain restaurant, or the local independant coffee house--excellence is hard to come by.

Excellence has to be across the board. Ambiance, decor, product quality, employee look, and service all have to be great, consistent, and each area must complement the others.
Perfect service by fat and slovenly employees does not work, neither does a industrial looking goth bar with a kickin' bartender that plays only Vivaldi and Brahms.

I am often reluctant to go to some of the recommended Italian restaurants here knowing that at best they serve piss poor coffee and espresso. Sorry, I don't give a rats ass how good your food is-- if you report yourself to be 'high-end' Italian, then you had better bring it with a top-notch cappuccino. Conversely if you are high-end Japanese--serve a perfect green or buckwheat tea. How can you have a chef spend years working on their craft only to have their dish ruined by piss poor coffee? Every facet of the restaurant, including liquor and/or coffee service must all achieve excellence for the restaurant itself to be excellent--otherwise you have only pseudo-excellence.

If you try to manufacture excellence you will fail. If you breathe excellence you will succeed. Breathe in excellence, breathe out excellence, and everyone will share in your passion.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Attention to Detail

A small rant...
There is a new employee at the bank. Let's call him "Skippy". Of the four times I've been 'fortunate' to have him be the available teller, he is SLOW, has to recount money too many times, and three out of the four times has made mistakes I've had to correct. This leads to repetitively bad service because of the lack of attention to detail. The two biggest reasons for bad service are employer, rather than employee based. The first reason is hiring the wrong people/bad screening process; the second reason is improper training.

Two rules to live by as an employer.

Step 1: Hire someone who is self-motivated, passionate about what you do--or in the least has something they are passionate about--, and make certain they can and will follow direction (are trainable).

Step 2: Train them well, and immediately dismiss them if YOU failed the first step.

It's easy to get frustrated with whomever, be it your barista, your waiter, your banker, or the guy at your local convenience store. But remember, they didn't hire themselves. An idiot can't help that they're an idiot, but what does that make the person who hired them?