Tag Archives: Customer Service

If banks were restaurants they’d all go out of business.

Dear banks,

We’ve noticed as you merge and grow your customer service goes down the drain.

You replace most of the experienced people we’ve gotten to know with barely trained robotic staff.

You make up rules that don’t exist and aren’t consistent branch to branch.

You use fraud protection as an excuse for bad service and no common sense.

You’d really prefer not to have lobbies or provide any services other than selling us stuff.

The only way for a business owner like myself to efficiently and pleasantly do business with a bank to pick one branch and only go to that one branch. Get to know the people so they can make “exceptions” that shouldn’t have to be exceptions. It’s like having to know the doorman at a nightclub!

When you merge, your original shareholders tend to get short-changed unless they are bank management.

If an independent restaurant grew into a chain the way banks do, they’d go out of business.

Then again, restaurants aren’t bailed out by taxpayers when they make bad decisions!





What We All Lose If Tipping Is Eliminated

Updated 9-18-16

~ Prices will go up more than 20% . Trust me, they’ll have to. So customers will pay more at any place that’s even moderately popular.

~ Good servers at most places will make less money as the net wage hike will not cover the lost tips. The majority of servers I know are strongly against getting rid of tips.

~ Operators will lose as higher menu prices will decrease customer visits and spending.  ~ Most sadly, another one of the rare person to person relationships left in our social life will vanish.
~ Based on my past as a tipped server in the past, and my years in many different aspects of the hospitality business, in concepts from low to high end, I think this is a mistake across the board.

~ Everyone will lose if we get rid of tipping.

Here’s a 9-18-16 update from the Chicago Tribune on how the no-tipping experiment is failing.

a tipster not just a hipster tip sign


#TBT People love our food so much they take photos to send their friends!

~~ Imagine how thrilled we would have been 15 years ago if a customer had brought a camera to our restaurant, taken photos of our food and mailed the pictures to all their friends with a note on how delicious it was and what a good time they were having?  #TBT

~~ So how NUTS are restaurant managers, owners, chefs and service staff to complain about people snapping food photos at dinner and sharing them?

~~ Food (pictures) for Thought.  — TTBG


The most hilariously unfair one-star review of all time

I bet this nitwit is on Yelp regularly reviewing restaurants…


No matter how good your mobile app is, there will always be at least one person who will trash it with a one-star rating on the App Store, just because some people can’t help hating on things. App developer Todd Ransom, who has developed an app that maps out the areas surrounding the gorgeous waterfalls of western North Carolina, explains on Twitter that his app has gotten a one-star review for the most ridiculous possible reason: The reviewer got stung by yellow jackets while using the app.

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Why our Customers are not “Guests”

It’s been a restaurant/bar industry trend for quite a few years now to refer to customers as “guests.”  It has spread to other retailers as well.  I have frequently used this description myself.

We all like the sound of “guests;” it appeals to the welcoming  instincts of the retail and hospitality trade.  The problem is that it’s not really accurate.

  1. A guest traditionally does not pay, whereas a customer of a business does.
  2. A guest is expected to be grateful and appreciative of a host’s hospitality.
  3. A guest implies a temporary interaction.

I think using “guest” as a description can lead a hospitality professional into having the wrong attitude toward their customers.

I believe the word “patrons” is the best description we can use in the hospitality business for our desired customers, much more accurate and focused than “guests,” or “customers.”

  1. It emphasizes that we are dependent on the “patron” to financially support our business, which is true and should never be forgotten.
  2. Whereas “guests” owe thanks to their “hosts,” we as hospitality operators should always be grateful for our “patrons” support, which allows us to prosper in business.
  3. “Patron” implies a longer term relationship, which we should all be striving for with customers.
  4. A “Patron Focused Mentality” directs our attention to the customers that spend to actually support our business; not all “guests” are equally valuable.  A person can be a customer and yet not be very beneficial to a business if they are cheap, don’t visit regularly, or absorb an unprofitable amount of time, attention and resources.   The word “patron” comes closer in meaning to describing someone who is truly beneficial (profitable) to the business.

Using the word “patron” captures the precise meaning of the customers we want and value, and allows us to differentiate them from run of the mill customers or “guests,” who may or may not be valuable.

Using the more accurate term helps us never forget to thank our patrons consistently for their patronage, and work hard to have a long term profitable relationship with our patrons!

And as an unrelated fact, Patron is a heck of a good tequila! 

Cheers — TTBG



Think you’re too cool to smile a lot? … Then you’re saying you’re cooler than Richard Branson.

Great advice from Sir Richard Branson:

“If you’re looking for the next big investment for your business, but don’t have much money to spend, start by looking at yourself in the mirror. A smile won’t cost you anything, and the returns to your business will start right away.”

Or as I like to say regarding the food and beverage service business, “SMILE, AND MAKE MONEY!”

Read the inspiring short piece in Entrepreneur Magazine:  Richard Branson on Smiling as a Competitive Advantage

If you don’t believe me or Richard Branson, maybe you’ll listen to Nat King Cole’s opinion.

Nat King Cole - Smile (single)

Have a great week and don’t forget to smile!  — TTBG