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How many of you have been on a first date? Most, if not all of you, right?  Most of us have been on our fair share.

Now, how many of you have shown up on a first date with bad breath, smelly clothes, and a look that says “I literally just rolled out of bed”?

Not too many of us, right?

Most of us view a first date as a chance to shine, to leave a great impression and perhaps even get the coveted Second Date.  Fresh clothes, a nice smile, a positive attitude, and perhaps even a little cologne and hair product to present the very best version of yourself. On that date, you were likely your most accommodating, kindest, sweetest  and most appreciative self. Basically, you treated your date like gold.   This description also pretty accurately reflects how many people show up to interview for the big job, ask for the raise or  go after that big account.

 In customer service, everyday is your first date.  Vera’s Burger Shack has 15 stores throughout the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and one in Ottawa, Ontario.  Those locations see thousands of interactions every week, both internally between staff and management and externally with our guests. Every single one of those interactions count. We aim for every single one of those interactions to be a great first date, where our guests leave feeling like they’ve got a little crush on our burgers and can’t wait to see us again.

 In the competitive world of food service, guests have countless options. Even if the food is outstanding, a poor guest experience can cost you a customer for life. If your staff show up for work looking and acting like they don’t care about their job, chances are it will detract from the guest experience.

 SO, how do you treat everyday as a first date? It comes down to that nasty four letter word – “work”.  You have to work at it.  I have a friend who literally jumps out of bed to start each day. He treats every interaction with his customers as a personal challenge to see just how great he can make them feel.  It comes easy to him now, but he had to work at it.  Like muscles, you have to exercise your attitude to make permanent changes.  You have to work at being the best you can be all the time – smile, compliment, be concerned and accommodating, just like you are on that all-important first date.  

 When you are in the customer service industry (and aren’t we all?), if you don’t make a great first impression, your precious customers will find somewhere else to take their hard earned money where they are treated and made to feel even just a little bit better than they do at your establishment.  However, if you capture their hearts and make them feel truly cared for, not only will your customers become regulars, they will become passionate fans (we call ours “Veravangelists”) that run to tell all their friends (online and off) just how great their date was and how everyone should look for a little ‘burger love’ at their nearest Vera’s Burger Shack. 

 Sending you Big Burger Love,

 Gerald Tritt