Small Business Saturday Setbacks

I want to share something to possibly help a small business owner that is willing to self evaluate. I set the intention to support small businesses today so I went to a diner instead of the chain I normally frequent for breakfast.

The diner was empty and only one other patron was there so being busy won’t be an excuse for what happened. Several issues occurred:

We asked the waitress if they had spinach and if so if it could be substituted for green peppers in the omelette. She said yes.

We asked if there were non-pork breakfast meats. She said yes and told us they had a beef sausage that we would be served.

We were told we couldn’t have the hashbrowns that come with the meals because the fryer didn’t have oil.

After waiting for a very long time, mind you seriously only one other table of two was seated and we were only a table of two, we got:

An omelette missing the mushrooms and with CUCUMBERS instead of spinach because they were out of mushrooms and spinach and thought we wouldn’t mind these changes, though we were never asked.

Pork sausage with no mention of the fact that it was pork. We were served pork after expressly telling them we didn’t eat pork and being told we could have beef. What if we hadn’t caught this?

And no oil until delivery is a horrible excuse. When I ran a kitchen, if we were out of oil at 10:00 am with a full day ahead, I would have gone to GFS, a restaurant supply store which is 10 minutes away, to grab frying oil needed to operate.

Soooo, when we got this omelette with a totally different set of ingredients than ordered, we got an option to eat it or order something else. Neither of us were interested in a cucumber omelette so figured we couldn’t go wrong with just scrambled eggs and cheese.

Wrong again. My husband was sent out charred, like black, dry eggs with no cheese. I really just wanted him to eat them so this could end but they were truly not edible. When I asked to speak with chef/owner, I communicated my desire to be supportive of his business. But, reiterated the need to have edible food.

He first tried to explain how they have won awards and so forth and I reminded him that all we needed at this point were edible eggs…that’s all. As we sat there, an hour and a half after arrival, now the only people in the restaurant, we finally got edible food.

I was so sad because I truly want to see people excel and I know that these are the issues that kept that restaurant from having customers and yet, it doesn’t seem the owner really grasped how things could have been improved.

Here is what I want you to get, when you are building a business . . . you have to be prepared to go all out! No, the dog ate my homework type of stuff. You have to do your best to provide a high quality product and build a tribe.

Of course, you will always have people who just don’t want to be satisfied and won’t let you correct a wrong but most people aren’t like that. They wouldn’t have come to you if they didn’t think it could work. So if something goes wrong on your end, just fix it.

You would be surprised on how an error can turn into a marvelous situation because of your comeback. You can amaze a customer with great service and commitment to excellence! Never give up and offer something that tarnishes your brand.

At the end of the day, these businesses are how we feed our families and we cannot afford to tell a client we didn’t bring the report because we ran out of paper. Run to Staples, go print at FedEx, heck use your kids construction paper if you have to! But we have to get the job done.

If you have been lazy, lackidaisical or indifferent about your business, it will cripple your success and make it very difficult to excel. I’m praying that anyone reading this can glean something and apply it to make adjustments and reach their goals.

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