The Daily Rail: Why do we suck when it's five minutes to close?

July 27, 2016

Today's Special


Some say GMOs are making our food healthier to eat while others don't trust the process. And some science suggests the main goals of GMOs aren’t being met. Regardless, humans have been modifying plants and animals for selective traits for thousands of years. Learn more about GMOs in under 60 seconds.


Ever wonder what your guests really think of your food or service? You can find out easily, but it starts with being a sharp observer.


How’s your beer history?

Know beer? Love history? Better dust off that resume. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is looking for a beer historian. “We have collected food history for many years, so when we were doing the research for the exhibition, which is all about big changes in the post WWII era in how and what we eat, one thing we were curious about is the craft beer movement,” Smithsonian curator Paula Johnson said.

Your family reunion is about to get bigger

Scientists think they’ve found the “ancestor of all living things.” Where has this universal family member of ours been hiding out? Deep sea vents and flanks of volcanoes. Luca (which stands for Last Universal Common Ancestor) is estimated to have lived some four billion years ago, back when Earth was a mere 560 million years old. What sort of gift do you give a bacterium that old?


Why it’s important to you: Giving excess food to your community is good for business.

What do Panera, Starbucks, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and the Capital Grille all have in common? Each of them donate their surplus food to local charities and food pantries. In 2013, Darden Restaurants donated more than 11 million pounds of food. Aside from the obvious good this policy does for their local communities, it’s also great PR.

No need to worry about liability either because a law passed in 1996 protects you from any legal liability. It wouldn’t be that difficult to identify a local organization that would benefit from your surplus items. Canned goods, frozen items and dry products can all be donated safely; instead of taking up dust in your pantry, it can feed a hungry family. Besides feeling like you have achieved some purpose in your business, you also can deduct the cost and turn it in those items into goodwill. Only winners here!


Why it’s important to you: Do you honor your own closing time?

This business would be great if it weren’t for those damned customers.” That’s how many of us feel when a guest arrives five minutes before we close and is looking for a meal. We are going to preach here for a moment…so here goes. In an essay on, author Mecca Bos takes pains to be level with restaurant people who think guests are rude for arriving at their locations with just a few minutes before closing, but frankly the article is soft on our business.

What causes us to be frustrated when a guest arrives late for dinner? We don’t want them to keep our staff late, we know our staff will be angered by it, we really just want to go home? Here is the real truth — it shows a total lack of leadership. That’s right, just like our service sucks when it’s slow, getting angry because a guest wants service during your posted hours say it’s available shows a stunning lack of leadership. You should be teaching your staff that we serve every guest when it’s convenient for them and not us. If that is how you want to operate then you should own a food truck and then you can just drive away when you are done serving. Alternately, change your hours, so you aren’t inconvenience by those pesky guests


Why it’s important to you: Restaurants that allow their staff to express political views can only get damaged.

When an Alexandria Virginia Police officer stopped by Noodle’s and Company evening, he was probably just interested in a quick meal during her shift. What she got was refused service, assuringly for being a cop. The officer left the restaurant and reported the incident to her supervisor who met with the manager at the restaurant the next day. While the manager did apologize, the damage was done and now it’s national news.

It’s safe to say that we want to capture every dollar we can for our businesses and denying service to a police officer is just plain dumb. The more pressing issue here is that this employee felt comfortable refusing to do their job because of their political opinions. Our business is far too competitive to turn away anyone’s business and, frankly, that’s not a place an hourly employee has the right to express themselves. It might be a good idea to take a moment and remind your staff that they have every right to their opinions and absolutely no right to share them with your guests.