The Importance Of Eating It

This Foodie Friday we turn to a business lesson surfaced by hospital food. My mom recently had a short stay and her sole complaint (after heart surgery!) about the experience was the food. As it turns out, she is far from alone in this. This article from an Ottawa newspaper (via First We feast) tells the story of a how a hospital changed the nature of its food service. It’s the reason why that’s instructive to the rest of us.

One of the administrators actually ate some of the hospital food. What happened next was that he got some other managers to do the same.  For a week. As the article said:

He and other managers didn’t particularly like what they tasted and saw. After food managers choked down three meals a day for a week, there was a consensus that things had to change.

Nothing like eating your own dog food, right? But that’s a critical part of serving our customers well and each of us needs to do that on a regular basis. When was the last time you tried to go through checkout on your own online store? How was the experience? How about trying to return what you purchased or put in a call to your customer service department? My guess is that none of your top managers have done any of those things in a while.

Several years ago I wrote a post on eating your own dogfood. That had to do with believing in what it is that you sold. I’d like to extend that concept to not just believing in it but actually experiencing it so that your belief is grounded in reality and not through rose-colored glasses. The hospital administrator answered a complaint about the food thusly:

 “Our management team has recently eaten hospital food for a week and agrees with your observation that we need to improve the presentation and taste.”

That answer is one I’d believe as a consumer because it’s grounded in some first-hand experience with their food. When was the last time you tasted yours?

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Filed under food, Huh?, Thinking Aloud

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