Sunday, February 4, 2007

Control What You Can

After reading chapter 10 of Danny Meyer's book SETTING THE TABLE, I learned how Mr. Meyers overcomes mistakes by writing a "great last chapter."

"Whatevver mistake happened, happened. And the person on the receiving end will naturally want to tell anyone who's interested all about it. That's to be expected. While we can't erase what happened, we do have the power to write on elast episode so that at least the story ends the way we want."

This reminds me of a mistake while dining at one of our favorite restaurants, the Wilmington Restaurant at Jarrett Farm, located between Bartlesville and Tulsa. The waiter reaching for my wife's wine glass, and my wife moving her hand from the table, bumped into each other and the wine was poured all over the front of my white shirt. It looked like I had been shot in the chest.

Admirably, the staff at Jarrett Farm offered to pay for the dry cleaning. That was nice. I also almost expected to get a call from a staff member of Jarrett Farm to see how our evening had been and if there was anything they could do to help get the shirt cleaned or find out if there was any problem with getting the shirt cleaned. Danny Meyer says the time frame for addressing mistakes is crucial. When something goes wrong, the manager on duty must make every attempt to follow up with the guest within 24 hours. I like that.

I would suggest the Wilmington Restaurant at Jarrett Farm take a page (p225 specifically) from Danny Meyer's book and add this thought process to their arsenal of skills when it comes to overcoming mistakes and creating an event that makes people want to talk about the cool outcome.

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