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Posts made in May, 2009

If it’s not broken, leave it alone!

Recently my wife and I ate at a chain restaurant which serves Pasta that we truly enjoy. It’s a small restaurant that seats around 100 +/- customers, and several years ago would always be full of guests. This week the crowd was only a handful of people during a normal dinner time. I commented to my wife that their business had been off the last several times we had visited. Could it be the downturn in our economy that was keeping people away we thought? I don’t think so; because if I gave the name of the restaurant, many of you would know the establishment, and would agree that you can get a nice pasta dish there without spending a lot of money. One thing we did notice was that during the restaurant’s hay-day, they always sent someone around with a basket of warm breadsticks, offering additional bread to their guests at no additional charge. Now, the “free” breadsticks are no longer willfully available, unless you go to the counter and ask for them. Seems like a small thing, but I must admit it does seem burdensome to have to get up and go up to the counter to ask for another breadstick, compared to when they would come to your table and offer the same service. Ironically, their business has not been the same since this new procedure went into place.

A number of years ago a popular restaurant in my area was sold, and the first thing the new owner did was completely change the way the smorgasbord was set-up. When my dad and I ate there, he commented to me that the new owner would not last a year under his new concept. I can still remember my father (who was in retail business all his life) say to me that you don’t change something that is working right. If it’s not broken son, just leave it alone! Guess what? My dad was right, unfortunately the new owner didn’t last long, and the business was taken back over by the family, who by the way put the smorgasbord back to their father’s original (successful) concept.

This same principal holds true to our businesses today. If it’s not broken, leave it alone! Unfortunately many companies are changing things and cutting back in areas that really don’t cost a lot, but for the sake of slashing expenses, like, breadsticks will no longer be given to the guests unless they ask. If your team members like something you offer them and it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg, but it offers a value added service back to them, then continue to provide it. Don’t cut something out just for the sake of removing it. Remember, if it’s not broken, leave it alone!

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