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One of the greatest challenges facing foodservice operators in the 21st century is service. There are five major reasons for this service challenge.

  1. The Baby Boom generation is large in number, tough to please, and fickle.

  2. The shrinking labor market offers fewer qualified candidates for service jobs. Retail, healthcare and high-tech industries offer higher wages, better hours and more benefits.

  3. Competition in foodservice is fierce. There are more seats competing for the foodservice dollar than ever before. Home meal replacement (HMR) and grocery stores are now in the mix, too.

  4. Time continues to be the currency of our lifestyles. Guests are less tolerant of incompetent order-takers, slow check-out lines, and long waiting lists.

  5. Generation X and Generation Y workers often bring negative stereotypes to the job, as well as minimal communication skills. Formal training is crucial...but rare in foodservice.

The best way to beat these challenges and be successful and profitable is to better serve your guests and turn them into word-of-mouth ambassadors. Most operators think they need to hire expensive consultants or experts to get "market intelligence." Save your money. A Server Excellence Survey gives you the opportunity to get the honest and eye-opening insights you need from your own employees.

Front of the house employees are your restaurant's closest connection to your guests. They know what guests order, their reactions to food quality, resistance to prices, and response to your service better than anyone else in your operation. And who knows your menu better than your servers?

An added bonus? Server involvement in this process increases self-esteem, professionalism and overall morale.

Read some pointers for designing your own Server Excellence Survey , to get you started. Or you can take a look at our versions for full-service and quick/counter-service versions of the survey.

See also:
The 1% solution
Dumb and dumber
Was it something I said?

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