It’s mindboggling to me, what seems so natural (at least to me) in how one should conduct a business, that obviously gets lost on people. I really thought it was just common sense but especially to entrepreneurs. It doesn’t matter if you have a multi-national shipping business or a courier service or a restaurant; people are creatures of habit and they don’t like surprises (at least I don’t). It can happen one or two times, but if I get a different experience more than one time…I’m gone for ever.
Whether you attribute the success to the McDonald brothers, Dick and Mac, or you credit Ray Kroc; it was the international burger franchise mantra. While some will argue that creativity is lost, their pillar was consistency, you could focus on quality, then innovation, but consistency was key. Their firm taught that whether you were in a McDonald’s in New York City, Albuquerque, New Mexico, or London England, one could expect the same experience. It came down to every aspect including décor, hours, and even how many pickles were on each hamburger.
Why should one person get a muffin loaded with blueberrys and another one get none? Would you order it a second time if you got none? A third time?
If you went to your favorite on line-shopping site and it was constantly reconfigured, or if the news feed /display on Facebook changed once a week, would you keep using it….for how long?
You are probably feeling anxious right now just thinking about it!
Consistency is the key to businesses
The more consistent you are, the higher quality you are envisioned to project. Why? Because people are human and it’s hard to maintain such consistency! With that being said, let me briefly tell you about a few new restaurants in my local area. By identifying what I think are their biggest mistakes, I’ll try and correct them here. The names will be changed to protect the innocent (me).
ABC Sandwiches (their name is so bad, that even if I could name it, I wouldn’t as NO ONE can relate their branding to a sandwich shop, especially one that doesn’t have origins on this side of the globe).
They opened in August 2018 and had a starting time of 12:30 PM. I was so psyched for them to open I was there at 12:35 PM. The door was locked and no one was there. Discouraged, I went back to work and phoned. “Yes Sir” they answered, sorry…we forgot to unlock the door. Ok…next shot got my food…it was great. The food was just like home with incredible fries. Ok…next order…waiting for that 12:30 PM time frame. I called for delivery…”sorry sir the driver is out doing other deliveries”. I asked how this could be, they open at 12:30 PM…”no sir we changed to 11.00 AM”. Ok…I can go along with that. Next time I called after a long night out, I thought I’d leave a message and have it waiting for them when they got in. To my surprise., they changed the hours again to 10:00 AM. last week they changed… AGAIN to 2:00 PM.
Who runs a restaurant and purposely misses a lunch service, especially one with no liquor license? How the hell do I know what time they open or when to call, as it is a moving target??
The food is another story. They have changed the type of meat twice now, as well as the cut. They continue to pass it as a real, original type of meat, but they can longer get sufficient product from their original supplier. In addition, my coveted fries sometimes arrived as large hand cut slices…other times as skinny frozen. Ok… Cross them off the ordering list.
Guido’s Italian Sandwiches (again not real name)
Have to say I ordered one of the best Chicken Parmigiana sandwiches, ever. Four giant cutlets…it was gorgeous. I even called the manager to compliment them. Now, just one week later, I called and guess what?…EXACTLY half the order and dry…no cheese…and only two cutlets. What am I supposed to do…if I need 4 cutlets do I order one or two…again its hit or miss? Same price, half the food.
Owners, Manager, Entrepreneurs
I’m begging you, take control of your operation. Take responsibility. Be anal! Call into your firm masquerading as a potential customer. Look at your website on a sporadic basis. Order food from outside. Take complaints as an opportunity to not only keep someone happy but find problems within your organization AND, by the way, there are ALWAYS problems, otherwise there wouldn’t be businesses.
People hate change, in any form. I am not saying not to be innovative – like McDonalds when they realized military soldiers didn’t want to come into the restaurant in uniform, so they created the drive-thru -I am saying make your mission statement, make all decisions carefully, monitor what’s in place and either offer what is promised or don’t offer it at all! I am confident that consistency is the difference between success and failure. It takes a mountain to get a customer…it takes a moment to lose them.
Man, I’m hungry…where the heck do I order from?