Last Saturday we went to the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival. To avoid sitting in 2 hours of traffic we leave the house at 7:00am drive over and eat breakfast in Half Moon Bay prior to the festival opening. We went to the same restaurant for breakfast this year we went to a few years ago, though it had changed hands and was now called La Bamba. Good looking breakfast menu and my only real concern was that last time we had to wait an hour to get in and this time we could just walk in. (Not necessarily a good sign, but we decided maybe we had come later last time.)
Anyway, after being seated we discovered why they may not have been as crowded as before. The wait person was clearly not interested in providing any level of service at all. He actually seemed to be moving in slow motion. We sat for 45 minutes while we waited for our breakfast to show up and watched the limited number of new people wait 10 minutes plus to be seated in an empty restaurant and 15 minutes more to be waited on.
When our food finally arrived it was cold (obviously been sitting waiting for Mr. SlowMo to bring it to us). So why am I confused?
The unemployment rate in California is over 15%. Why on earth would the owner/manager put up with that kind of performance from an employee when there are 6.8 people (on average) applying for every open position. You might suggest that the restaurant was making lots of money by charging for parking that day, so they did not care, but they were driving off customers (and given the lack of them, this was not a first).
In today’s economy you should be making sure you have the best possible team in place. Customers are spending their money where they get the best value. People make the biggest difference in your company’s ability to be excellent. With a labor pool full of talented people sitting on the bench, it is past time to trade up.