Why Insights are Invaluable
Over the years we’ve had clients retain us to conduct an assessment of their businesses…for all sorts of reasons. They want to better understand the guest experience, discover how their staff is doing when they’re not there or see if there are any gaps in procedure that could be tightened up. in short, they are seeking outside, expert insight. Once we have completed our assessment, no matter the original goal, our clients always report that the insights we share have been helpful to them in a a few similar ways.
Here are the top three reasons why assessments provide invaluable insights to owners and operators:
1. Assessments Provide Critical Insight
Of course the main reasons that an assessment is so helpful is that it provides methodical and knowledgeable feedback to the owners. In our multi-day assessments we spend time on premise observing the team, examining the existing systems and analyzing the guest experience. Through our process we are able to diagnose real issues for the operation that can be addressed and then remedied.
One client retained us to assess the service because they felt that the service had changed. But had it? What we discovered was that the servers were all on point but they were frustrated that their manager was completely ineffective. This resulted in the servers being less efficient due to a lack of support from their manager and poor morale from having no support. We recommended replacing the manager with a more seasoned and enthusiastic candidate and the service improved because the servers were supported and happy to do their job once again. This example shows that cause and effect are not always what you think they are. In this case the bad service did not mean bad servers; it meant bad leadership. Which was a revelation for the owner.
2. Assessments Confirm and Clarify Your Assumptions
We are often called in because the owner wants to know more about an existing, troubling situation in order to make the best choice for his business. Owners often want to check their thinking before making a change. Why? Because change can be costly.
At one business we confirmed that the representation of the brand was confusing and was unappealing to potential guests (time to update the brand and marketing plan). At another we helped the owners see how a lack of training resulted in inconsistent service and that it was beginning to damage their reputation (time to invest in training). And at another we shined a light on how the staff had become coddled, which deeply impacted the labor cost since the managers strove to make the team happy without upholding the standards of the business (time to empower the managers to uphold a higher standard). In each scenario, these challenges were not surprising to the owners; rather, it empowered them to trust their instincts to take action on behalf of their business.
3. Assessments Offer Positive Reinforcement
This is the happy result of an assessment. Not only do we point out gaps in the operation and highlight areas of improvement, we point out what is going right and who is doing well. This is always a very pleasant surprise for owners and operators: when they discover that some areas of their business are actually exceeding their expectations.
We have observed managers saving the day, team members flawlessly upholding the standard and chefs who have created ingenious systems for the operation. In fact, when an owner is casting a critical eye on his or her own business, sometimes he or she misses the good stuff. Our unbiased external POV can help give credit where credit is due and call out all that is going right so you can save your energy and efforts for what truly needs your attention.
Now, we’re not the only company that conducts assessments and you may have a specific area of your business that requires an expert touch. But no matter what, know that you should expect to receive all three of the above results from any assessment you conduct. And that, in itself, is invaluable.