The Fly and the Hair
This actually happened, and for all our attempts to make light of it, it was really embarrassing!
What if this happened to you—maybe during a business dinner with clients on whom you want to make a good impression?
I called the waitress and showed her the fly and the hair. To my surprise, she looked at us, as if we were trying to start some kind of trouble, even as we tried to keep it low-key. I asked if the owner, our friend the chef, was available and she informed us he was at the Nashville location.
The hostess, who turned out to be the manager, finally came to our table with a mild apology and offered us a 10 percent discount off our bill. Still, not wanting to make a scene, I accepted her "gracious" offer. As you might guess, however, the rest of our meal came under suspicion, not to mention intense scrutiny, as we proceeded with caution, thinking to find more items of interest.
TO BE SURE...the chef's SECOND restaurant was NOT ready for prime time, I decided. There had been a complete breakdown of systems for giving customers a consistent experience of fine dining.
According to Michael Gerber, author of the book "The E-Myth—Business Format Franchises," have reported a success rate of 95 percent; whereas, independently-owned businesses report a 50 percent failure rate.
Are you aware that 85 percent of all businesses fail in the first five years?
Are you further aware that 75 percent of those new businesses that DO succeed—are FRANCHISES?
Why, you might ask, do franchises succeed? The simple fact is—they have proven systems for operating, which ensures quality and service.
Yes, franchises have their problems; they’re NOT perfect. However, if you compare a franchise with a small independent company (that has virtually NO written systems for operations), you can bet you will find a lot more “hairs” and “flies” causing chaos and lost customers (not to mention, using a system of apology and giving discounts, hoping to appease customers, due to their failure in giving proper customer service).
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.