Pop culture often mocks or exaggerates the behind-the-scenes frustrations faced by foodservice employees — and their reactions. From the 2005 film Waiting to MADTvs Bon Qui Qui, the exaggerations can be humorous to some and frustrating to others in the foodservice business.
But what happens when real service-horror stories hit the web and go viral?
The photo accompanying this blog has popped up in several places online. It was supposedly submitted to a website by an “anonymous bystander at a lunch counter in Oregon Caves National Park."
I’d like to point out, not only did this diner reach a level of frustration that drove this action — but our vigilante condiment-artist was left alone long enough to use both ketchup and mustard in a three line message. Where was the waitstaff?
Luckily for the owners, I haven’t seen any establishment’s name officially tied to the photo. Imagine the nightmare of your restaurant being the subject of such an Internet meme — especially when there are easy ways to avoid this situation.
For service-industry businesses, like restaurants, customer service can create raving fans or ranting critics. This makes hiring the right talent to ensure great customer service essential. One of the quickest ways to hire the best people is to pre-screen applicants with hiring assessments.
Assessments are tools that predict future job performance. This is based on three kinds of information: what candidates have done, what they can do and what they want to do. Screening applicants saves time, identifies characteristics crucial to success and generates a significant return on investment.
Hiring based on resumes alone brings up difficult judgment questions. Is this person dependable? Does this person share our business values? Will he or she steal? Assessments take the guess work out of answering these questions. They also help identify people with a service-mindset before they interact with customers.
Research by a leading assessments provider in the service industry space found that hiring assessments detect candidates who are:
• 18 times more likely to assist coworkers who need help
• 14 times more likely to go above and beyond whenever possible
• 9 times more likely to be consistently friendly
• 5 times more likely to remain upbeat
Feedback I’ve received on assessments from people in the restaurant business is incredibly positive. Scott Wise, CEO and founder of a Pots and Pans Production, once shared that, “What we’ve found using [a talent management solution] is a significant amount of decrease in the turnover by just allowing someone to be screened out of the application process by getting red flagged in the assessment.”
While in this case, Scott calls attention to lower turnover, studies indicate that the use of the management and hourly hiring assessments improves the experiences of key audiences, such as managers, employees and customers.
A case study held by one assessment provider showed that restaurants using hiring assessments saw customer loyalty improve by 19 percent. The locations that screened actually out-performed all other company units combined on customer experience surveys.
Reduce the risk of your restaurant being the subject of a viral photo or other service nightmare by hiring the right people. To improve employee performance and satisfaction, you need a team of people who believe in your company and have the right skills to succeed in foodservice. Assessments are proven to help your retention rates and increase customer satisfaction. The end result is a happier workplace, strong customer loyalty and no service nightmares.