In my previous blog “Food Service Retailing: Cafes, Restaurants, Coffee Shops & Mobile vendors…” I talked about one of the 2 events I am involved in during May and June (Caffe Culture). In this blog I’ll share a little more about the 2nd event, “Success on a Plate” which is also aimed at the food service retailers…
What is Success on a Plate Food Bootcamp?
Expert speakers will share their knowledge and contacts. Attendees will come away with an array of new skills and ideas to get their food service retail business up and running.
The event is set in a unique and inspiring venue (Waterstones in Piccadilly) surrounded by the hustle and bustle of Central London. This three day Bootcamp is bursting with engaging presentations and interactive activities. Whether delegates dream of opening a concept restaurant, a New York-style pizzeria, a Chinese buffet, a deli for busy lunch-goers or a local coffeehouse, they can start their business here!
My Involvement: “Mystery Shopper” Meeting your customer service promises every step of the way…
I’m speaking after lunch on day 2 (full programme here!). At the end of day 1 delegates will be set an exercise which will be based on them putting themselves “in the shoes of their customer” – asking them to reflect on their own excellent and dreadful customer service experiences.
In my session, which will be a 90 minute interactive workshop (with lots to do, fast paced, high energy – because I’ve got the post-lunch time sleepy-session!), we will be focusing on treating each customer as if they were your “mystery shopper”.
We’ll reflect on what the attendees came up with as a result of the exercise and discuss the importance of “Meeting your customer service promises every step of the way.”
The overarching message will be that customers expectations are set by the impression and promises YOU give them, and YOU then must meet or exceed those promises… The session will cover practical hints & tips on getting your service promise, and delivery, spot on.
What do I know about food service retailing and mystery shopping?
The retail job I most loved, and the one I learnt the most about running a profitable retail business from, was being a McDonalds manager. I started with McDonalds when I was at college in Cambridge – I was only a crew member at the time. I never did gain all 5 stars before I left for London. I returned to work for McDonalds at the Edgware Road store, and quickly was promoted to floor manager, then shift manager. Pretty soon I become assistant store manager at the Oxford Circus branch – where taking £10K per hour at lunch time on an average order value of £2.18 was quite normal (with 20 tills open and 30 on serving alone…!)
Love it or hate it, McDonalds have developed some of the most robust and repeatable business processes which have enabled them to grow into one of the most successful and largest food service retailers on the planet. What I loved about McDonalds was the focus on the details – making sure there was consistency in customer experience. As a shift manager I was accountable for quality, service and meeting stringent food hygiene and health and safety regulations – it was fast paced, never ever the same, and incredibly good fun.
Most importantly of all, my bonus was heavily dependent on the outcome of my mystery shopper results – and thus I adopted the policy that on my shift every crew member would assume that every customer could be our mystery shopper – each one understood their importance in the “machine” which delivered on our service promise… And I am proud to say my shifts delivered some of the best mystery shopper results, not just for my store, but across all stores in the West End region! Happy days! 🙂
I hope to be able to share some of my personal experiences with the delegates at Success on a Plate food bootcamp, and, perhaps one of those attending just might be the entrepreneur behind the next global phenomenon to rival McDonald’s success!