Foodie Friday, and the topic this week is a better bottom line. I went out for breakfast this morning. As I ordered, the server asked me if cinnamon toast was OK. I replied that I didn’t care for any toast at all, thanks. When my breakfast showed up a few minutes later, the toast was parked right on the plate along with some apple butter. I’m sure it would have been delicious but it went uneaten.
The obvious business point is that food – and therefore margin – was wasted. No business can afford to throw resources away. There are some less obvious points as well. I looked at the check – there was no notation on it to hold the toast, so clearly the blame lies with the server and not with the kitchen. Was the server paying attention? What if the customer had expressed a concern about a food allergy and that concern wasn’t passed along to the kitchen? While my server was quite attentive, refilling the coffee as it disappeared and providing milk as requested instead of the prepackaged cream, she didn’t handle the single most important part of her job – getting the order right.
I don’t mean to blow what is a relatively minor error into an indictment of this server. I do want to use it as an example of how minor errors can have an impact on the bottom line if they persist. Wasted resources, inattentive sales reps, and unhappy customers are the kiss of death in any business. Who knows how many other orders of toast or grits or potatoes went out of the kitchen, only to come back untouched and tossed. How often does something similar happen in your business?