Solomon Bruce Consulting Blog

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Nobody Wanted Our Money!

           We were in Washington DC last week for client meetings.  We elected to go to dinner at a well-known chain restaurant that has a reputation for good food and service.

            Our party arrived, middle of the early afternoon, and the host told us that he could not accommodate us for at least 2 hours.  Whoa?  What is going on?  What happened?

            Well, the host said that they only had 2 servers on duty, they were overwhelmed and “he” elected not to seat any more guests!  Well, the restaurant is not THAT GOOD that we were going to argue, we could see that there were many extra tables, however, as we elected to dine elsewhere, our party talked about this approach that the host used.

            We had a better idea!  Why not tell us that the restaurant was short staffed, that service was slow, but the food was wonderful—and although the service would not be up to par, he would be more than happy to provide us with complimentary wine and crackers until our meal was ordered, prepared and served!  How hard could that be?

            OK, alcohol is a big money maker in the restaurant business.  About 3 drinks from the bottle pay for the bottle, at wholesale prices.  The remaining 23 glasses are pure profit, at $7-9/glass.    It appeared to us even if everyone in our party had 2 glasses and ate a whole box of crackers, the restaurant would still more than make up for the slow service.  Interestingly, there were several in our party that do not consume alcohol, but would have been just as happy with a cup of hot coffee and the crackers.

            Where was the manager?  We wanted to know that question, however, this is one time that because we elected to go elsewhere, there was no point in trying to find someone to make an executive decision!!!

            The bottom line result—loss of a large party, several entrees, dessert and some alcohol.  Seemed to us that nobody was doing the thinking here in this restaurant.

            What would you have done?  Tell us, we are interested.


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